Police hunting for three suspects in fatal Hanoi shooting

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Hanoi police have identified and are hunting for three suspects in connection with last month's gangland-style shooting that left a young woman dead and a taxi driver in critical condition.

On April 28, Nguyen Thi Lien, 20, and three other passengers hailed a Thanh Cong taxi in Hoang Mai District. At midnight, as the car turned down Xa Dan Street, a group of nine men riding four motorcycles surrounded the car and tried to force the driver to stop.

While the taxi was still running, one of the men produced a gun and fired. The bullet shattered the driver's window and struck him in the face.

After the car lurched to a stop, the gang smashed the passenger window, shot Lien in the head, and sped off without attacking the other three passengers.

Following the attack, one of the three passengers drove the taxi to a nearby hospital, where Lien was pronounced dead on arrival.

The driver was admitted with severe injuries.

Police have identified the three men directly involved in the murder as Dong Cao Cuong, 28, Luu Quang Duc, 24, and Nguyen Manh Cuong, 22, from Hanoi, Ha Nam Province and Hai Phong City, respectively.

Police say that Lien had borrowed money from Cuong and Duc.

Lien and the moneylenders had fought, prior to the incident and agreed to meet on the Xa Dan Street to settle the matter.

Two hours before her murder, two young men came to Lien's house and told her mother that she owed them VND10 million (US$500), news website VnExpress reported.

They threatened the family and called other men on a mobile phone before leaving.

Lien's mother said she her daughter had not come home in the three days before the murder.

On the evening of April 28, Lien told her mother to call the police if anyone came around looking for her, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

At the crime scene, police found that the taxi's windows had been smashed by the attackers.

They also found spent shell casings, a stun gun, a knife, and a spray can of tear gas in the damaged taxi.

The investigation continues to be underway.

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