Motive in San Jose quadruple murder-suicide over visa jealousy, relative says

New details are emerging from a crime that rocked a South Central San Jose community. 

An apparent murder-suicide involving five people may have been sparked over feelings of envy relating to immigration status. 

The crime took place Sunday night in the 500 block of Habbitts Court, near the Los Lagos Golf Course.

A relative of one of the victims told the Mercury News that the suspected killer, who took his own life, had called him shortly before the crime. 

That’s the beginning of a story that has most neighbors in disbelief.

"I don’t see how someone could get so angry to be able to take a life? That’s a precious life that God gives,” said Alexandria Cortez, a neighbor living in the Verde Mobile Home Park.

She lives near a man named To Van Khaut.   

On Tuesday, Khaut told the Mercury his wife’s cousin called, saying he wanted to commit the killings.

He was apparently furious she was able to get some Vietnamese family members immigration visas, and he was not able to do the same for his own immediate family.

San Jose police said Sunday night, Chi Dinh Ta shot and killed four family members, then turned the gun on himself and took his own life.

“I’ve been here for 27 years. I don’t remember an incident like this where four people were murdered," San Jose Police Dept. Sgt. Enrique Garcia said Monday. "And it’s just sad overall when you have something like this happen. It’s terrible."

Police said the gunman’s wife, daughter, and niece were all able to escape.

They say Ta used a handgun to shoot several people inside. 

Officers had to use a Bearcat armored vehicle to help rescue a man and woman from the home who had each been shot one time. 

They both died a short time later at an area hospital.

Cortez says she never noticed any problems with Khaut, or his relatives living in the cul-du-sac and says violence is never a way to settle a dispute.

“He should have went to the authorities or whatever lawyer he’s working with to try and get his stuff, instead of taking it out on other people," she said. "You don’t hurt other people because you’re not getting your way. I just feel like he should have [brought] that drama somewhere else."

Ta’s wife was able to escape the massacre by jumping a neighbor’s fence and hiding inside another house. 

San Jose police have not commented about this new revelation.