Ngo Van Vinh, 39, former officer of the Suoi Tre Unit of the Dong Nai Traffic Police Division, stands trial for shooting his boss dead on August 26, 2014.
A court in the southern province of Dong Nai on Tuesday ordered additional investigations into a case in which a police officer shot his boss to death at work following a drunken karaoke fight.
Ngo Van Vinh, 39, formerly a captain of the Suoi Tre Unit of the Dong Nai Traffic Police Division, was initially charged with “murder under provocation,” which attracts jail terms of between six months and three years.
The trial opened in the morning, but at the end of the day, the jury decided that the trial will be suspended and further investigations must be carried out.
The judges said Vinh may face charge of "murder," with jail terms ranging from seven years to death penalty.
According to the indictment, Vinh and his co-workers were drinking at a karaoke parlor in Long Khanh Town in the afternoon of September 22, 2013, when they encountered Major Tran Ngoc Son, 39, deputy head of the Suoi Tre Unit, and his friend Truong Thanh Chi in a nearby room.
After the two groups met, Chi and Vinh got into an argument.
Chi reportedly hit Vinh in the face with a beer glass, bleeding his nose.
After the fight, Vinh grew angry with Son for failing to intervene in Chi's attack.
Vinh and Son quarreled. Vinh knocked on Son’s neck and was stopped by other people.
Vinh then went back to his office, grabbed a pistol and waited for Son at the office.
At around 5 p.m. that day, Son went back to the office and challenged Vinh to a fight. He allegedly punched Vinh in the face three times, drawing blood.
Vinh then reportedly drew the pistol out. Son rushed to attack Vinh to grab the pistol. The two struggled.
Senior-lieutenant Doan Thanh Phu, who was standing nearby, rushed to stop Vinh, the pistol on Vinh’s hands fired two shots, one of which came through Phu’s hip.
Phu was injured and crawled out of the room to call for help. Son and Vinh continued to struggle for the pistol.
Vinh allegedly fired four shots – two into the ceiling and two into Son. Son collapsed.
Truong Hoc Lam, who worked as a guard at the Suoi Tre unit’s parking lot, rushed in to grab the pistol from Vinh’s hands.
Two more shots went out, but did not hit anyone.
As Lam saw that the pistol had no bullets left, he let go of Vinh and called other people to take Son, Phu and Vinh to hospital.
Son died at Long Khanh General Hospital at 7:40 p.m. of an aortic rupture. Doctors said he was shot in the torso.
Phu and Vinh were transferred to Dong Nai General Hospital for further treatment.
Vinh had sustained a laceration to this head. Authorities say he may have been grazed by an errant bullet.
Vinh's body was addled with other beating-related injuries.
After treatment, Phu was declared 15-percent disabled and Vinh 40 percent.
Vinh was arrested shortly after he was discharged from hospital. Before his arrest, the Dong Nai Police Department suspended Vinh from his post and stripped him of his military rank.