4 homicide cases appear planned, have connections with San Jose Asian cafes
SAN JOSE, Calif. (BCN) - Four San Jose police homicide cases appear to have connections with Asian cafes in the city, some of which are associated with Vietnamese criminal street gangs, a police lieutenant said today.
In each of the cold cases, the suspects appeared to have planned and quickly carried out the shootings, police Lt. Paul Spagnoli said to a group of reporters outside department headquarters this afternoon.
Spagnoli, commander of the department's homicide unit, said the cases could be gang-related, but detectives are looking into every possibility.
San Jose police released video surveillance footage today that captured wanted suspects in two of the four cases that they asked for the public's help in solving.
Sometimes people are reluctant to speak with police soon after the shooting, but are more willing to provide information after a substantial amount of time passes, Spagnoli said.
The most recent killing was around 9:20 p.m. on June 27, when officers responded to a report of a person shot in the 1700 block of Cape Aston Court, police said.
They found a man, later identified as 26-year-old Justin Tran, suffering from at least one gunshot wound. Emergency crews pronounced him dead at the scene, police said.
The suspects were all in a black four-door Lexus made between 2008 and 2013. One of them walked up to the driver's side of Tran's car and shot him multiple times, according to police.
Tran frequented one of the cafes but Spagnoli declined to specify which one.
The other three incidents occurred inside or outside a business, police said.
Another shooting was reported shortly before 11 p.m. on March 11, when officers went to Bon Mua Café at 1937 Tully Road and learned a male suspect fired at two men multiple times before fleeing the scene, police said.
The victims were transported to a hospital. One of them, later identified as 43-year-old Brian Le, died of his injuries and the other survived, police said.
Surveillance footage from the café obtained by police showed an armed man in a beanie, zipped-up sweatshirt and pants run through a hallway.
The roughly 30-second video can be viewed online at
Police are also looking for two suspects in a shooting on Dec. 5, 2014, outside Golden King Café in the 2600 block of Alum Rock Avenue that killed 41-year-old Thach Thiet Dien Duong.
Two Asian men walked up to the victim from behind and shot him multiple times, police said.
Security video set up outside the business showed one of the suspects in a black sweatshirt with the hood over his head and light-colored pants. The other suspect wore a white and black jacket, a black shirt, black bottoms and a hat. The video clip can be viewed online at
"The video we release stops just short of the actual shooting," Spagnoli said.
The fourth shooting dates back to April 6, 2013, when officers responded to a report of a person shot in the 2000 block of Senter Road and found 37-year-old Viet Tran of San Jose with at least one gunshot wound, police said.
Tran was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
There had been a large party outside Elite Car Audio and Performance, where investigators suspect a disturbance from the gathering continued outside, police said.
The officers were met with many resistant attendees, some who either barricaded themselves inside or hid, police said.
Officers were forced to use less-than-lethal projectiles on four people before they were able to clear the building, according to police.
Officers detained 25 people at the party and learned many had links to Vietnamese criminal street gangs, according to police.
Anyone with information on any of the cases is asked to call the Police Department's homicide unit at (408) 277-5283. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-7867.