A former Can Tho police sergeant whose dark murder-suicide plot was foiled in April will face multiple charges.
On Thursday, police in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho recommended that Tong Hoang Phuc, 21, be charged with “illegal use of military weapons”, “unlawful detention”, “threatening murder”, “property damage”, and “robbery.”
It is ultimately up to prosecutors to decide whether official charges will be filed against Phuc.
Police say Phuc was out drinking beer with friends on April 15 when he received a phone call from his girlfriend who wanted to end their romantic relationship.
That evening, Phuc stole VND3.5 million (US$165) and a key from beneath the bed of officer Doan Hoang Tang while he slept.
He used the key to access the traffic division's armory, where he stole an AK-47 assault rifle, three ammunition clips and two pairs of handcuffs.
Tong Hoang Phuc, a former sergeant in Can Tho City, could be charged with “illegal use of military weapons”, “unlawful arrest”, and “threatening murder”. Photo: Mai Tram
With the weapons in tow, Phuc rented a room at the 555 Hotel in O Mon District that night.
When Nguyen Be Lu, a hotel employee, brought a bowl of noodles to his room at around 1 a.m. on April 16, Phuc held Lu at gunpoint, handcuffed him and took VND3.3 million from his pocket.
An hour later, when two other hotel employees came to Phuc’s room looking for Lu, Phuc opened fire.
Local police were alerted that shots had been fired at around 2.30 a.m. When the first two police officers arrived at the hotel, Phuc began firing down on them from his terrace.
More than 100 armed special police were mobilized to the scene.
Phuc continued to fire at them while keeping Lu as his hostage. Witnesses said they heard about 50 shots fired from the hotel.
Phuc demanded that his girlfriend be sent to meet him in a petrol tank truck driven by a female driver.
Police at the scene refused that demand.
At 6:40 a.m., Phuc asked to see his parents and surrendered soon after meeting them.
Police said they found a suicide note addressed to his parents in his office.
The note implied that he planned to kill his girlfriend and himself.
Phuc had asked his girlfriend to come to the hotel with him on April 15 night, but was rejected, according to the police.
No casualties were reported.