Elderly couple's murderer kills himself in the forest

TN News

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A man who murdered his elderly neighbors shot himself and died while on the run in the Central Highlands forests of Lam Dong Province Sunday morning.

Ngo Xuan Thuong, 56, died of a gunshot wound to the head in Di Linh District after four days on the run.

A team of police officers that had been searching for Thuong since Thursday heard the gun shot in the forest at around 8 am and soon found the man lying dead.

At 3 pm on Wednesday, Thuong approached his neighbors Nguyen Cao Da and Doan Thi Tam, both 76, while the married couple were lying in hammocks in front of their house.

He pulled a pistol shot each of them repeatedly.

Da died on the spot, while Tam was seriously injured.

The couple's family rushed out after hearing the commotion, but Thuong warned them not to approach him.

Only after he left could the family take Tam to the hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries later that day.

Thuong, meanwhile, ran into his son's house, where he stashed the gun and fled to the forest, police said.

Nguyen Quoc Dinh, 52, Da and Tam's son, said that 15 minutes before the murders, Thuong had an argument with the elderly couple, during which he reeked of alcohol.

Thuong's wife then successfully persuaded him to come home, but he came back later with the pistol in his hands.

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The conflict had begun a couple of days earlier, Dinh said, when his family released water from a ditch and Thuong objected, saying it affected the functioning of his water-run generator.

On Thursday morning, around 200 police officers and militiamen began scouring the forests and coffee fields in Hoa Bac Commune to find the man.

According to local authorities, Thuong used to be deputy chief of Hoa Bac Commune's Forest Management Board and deputy director of a forestation company.

He may have taken the guns during his time in office, they said.

Seven years ago, when he was serving as deputy director of a forestation company, Thuong shot a man to death with a pistol.

He was then sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In April 2010, he was released from prison on the occasion of the country's Reunification Day (April 30) amnesty.

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