SAN JOSE, Calif. - On Thursday, San Jose police released new surveillance video of the car driven by the people who allegedly killed a 55-year-old father who police identified as Thu Nguyen. It happened as the victim confronted the suspects tampering with his car.
A source tells KTVU the thieves may have been after the man’s catalytic converter.
Police said a BMW 3 Series was the getaway car for two suspects responsible for a brazen murder.
"Obviously, we want to bring justice to this victim and his family," said Sgt. Christian Camarillo of San Jose Police. "We are asking for the public’s help."
The crime happened last Friday morning on Glen Keats Court in East San Jose. A family contact said the victim saw the suspect stealing something from his Toyota Prius. He confronted them. The victim’s son was about to go follow him but by the time he got to his dad, he'd already been shot.
"This happened in front of the victim’s family, his son was out there trying to render aid," said Camarillo.
The worst part is police found the victim in the arms of his wife and daughter.
"It’s terrible," said Sgt. Camarillo. "I understand the frustration that our vehicles are being tampered with. Our recommendation is not to confront people. What we are talking about is the worst case scenario."
A source said what the thieves were after was a catalytic converter. Thefts are out of control in the Bay Area. The converters contain metals more valuable than gold.
"These folks who are continuously stealing catalytic converters are getting more and more bold," said Anthony Le with the Vietnamese American Roundtable.
Le is in touch with the victim’s grieving family.
"To see this happen," said Le. "It was heartbreaking. I think I’m still going through the shock itself but a mix of anger and frustration."
He worries the Vietnamese community may be easy targets since they often fear retaliation and don’t speak up. He’s hoping those who know something will have the courage to call police.
"Speaking up means protecting them by making sure it doesn’t happen again," said Le.
Police describe the suspect’s car as a BMW 3 Series, possibly light blue or silver with damage to the left rear taillight. Police are offering a cash reward leading to an arrest.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.