Sacto 9-1-1
June 10, 2012
Among four killed in south Sacramento house were two Hmong spiritual leaders


By Jacqueline Sahlberg and Andy Furillo and

As Sacramento police investigators searched for clues into a shooting that left four dead inside a south Sacramento home late Saturday, many of the victims' relatives gathered a block away Sunday to wait for answers and to grieve.

Among the victims were a 50s couple whom a nephew described a shamans - spiritual elders - in the Hmong community.

More than 25 relatives huddled together in the shade of trees near the 7600 block of 18th Street off Meadowview Road where deputies responded to a fatal shootout around 10:40 p.m. Saturday.

Sisters and brothers, cousins and nieces identified two of the victims as Xai Vang Yang and his wife Lia Vang Yang, who had moved into the neighborhood three to four months ago, and identified Khu Yang as another family member who was in the house during the shooting. Police confirmed the identities Sunday afternoon.

"We are here to say our goodbyes," said Na Vang, a 33-year old nephew who sat drinking water on the sidewalk next one of Xai Vang Yang's brothers.

Another nephew, Lu Vang, said the couple were shamans who raised chickens and distributed in the community for spiritual purposes.

Police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante said officers believe a suspect entered the home and proceeded to shoot two household residents and two guests. Another resident overheard the shooting and exchanged gunfire with the subject, she added.

Four people were pronounced dead and one household guest was taken to the hospital and is in critical but stable condition, according to Gigante.

"There doesn't seem to be signs of forced entry and it doesn't seems like a random act," Gigante said.

She added that a motive for the shooting has not yet been determined, but officers believe the incident may be gang-related.

Na Vang said he considered Khu Yang a "family hero" for confronting the shooter who killed his aunt and uncle. "If it wasn't for him, they would have gotten away," he said.

Near Na Vang, the victim's sister Chai Vang sat in a lawn-chair on the sidewalk surrounded by young children and other Vang family members. She said she had been waiting for news outside the police tape since about 7 in the morning.

"They were a loving, caring aunt and uncle. They cared about all the kids," said Na Vang. "It's tragic to lose my uncle and aunt this way."

The Sacramento Police Department urges anyone with information pertaining to this crime to contact the dispatch center at (916) 264-5471 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357) or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

PHOTO CREDIT: Stickers are removed by a Sacramento Police Department officer at a home in front of a home were five people were shot during a deadly home invasion were four people died on 18th Street in Meadoview neighborhood in Sacramento on Sunday, June 10, 2012. Hector Amezcua, Sacramento Bee.

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