San Jose homicide detectives probe death of Chinese arts director

- Members of the West San Jose community area mourning the death of a popular patron of the arts. Well-wishers brought flowers to honor what one person called the MLK of the Chinese-American community in West San Jose. Ann Woo's legacy is literally hanging on the walls of the Chinese Performing Arts of America center. Each Spring she produce a major production in town -- from "Dream of the Butterfly" to "Middle Kingdom."

"She would often tell me, that silicon valley you know, has got a lot of technology. but not much of art (chuckles)," said her husband, John Chu.

He says his wife set on her mission of change after first making her mark in electrical engineering. Woo credited with nine patents.

But by 19-90s, she traded high-tech for stage tech, founding the C-P-A-A..

"Over the years, anytime she had an issue or any little mechanical thing that needed to be addressed, we were here to help," said friend Robert Cormia."

Police say they're puzzled by the circumstances surrounding woo's death. Back on August 11th she got into an altercation with another elderly woman outside the center. When it was over, Ann was on the ground bleeding. She had been hospitalized since then, but passed away from her injuries Friday."

"As a department, we've been investigating it as an assault. But when she died, the case was transferred to the homicide unit," said San Jose Police Department spokesman sergeant Enrique Garcia.

The Santa Clara County medical examiner says an autopsy is complete, but the cause of death is still undetermined.

"Of course i'll miss her. Because she would walk by quietly and start working on her production and get everything organized for the next dance program she would have," said Cormia.

Family and friends say the next program in the planning here, is a memorial for a woman credited with breathing the beauty of Chinese culture into a section of the South Bay.

Ann Woo was 75 years old. She's survived by her family which includes her husband, brother, and sister-in-law.

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