Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: What happened to the store owner who shot and killed a man 30-plus years ago when the burglar broke into his store through the roof, I believe in Del Paso Heights. I believe the burglar was an O'Roy.
Submitted by: Citizen Kane, Del Paso Heights
ANSWER: Sacramento police determined that the shooting death of a man who broke into a Del Paso Heights grocery store in December 1987 was a justifiable homicide.
The intruder shot by storekeeper Saveng Saveng was initially identified as Donald O'Roy. The Sacramento County Coroner's Office, however, determined the man's real name was John L. Williams after a man called the Coroner's Office claiming that he was O'Roy, that Williams was married to his ex-wife and that Williams sometimes used the name Donald O'Roy as an alias.
According to stories in The Bee, Saveng Saveng, owner of Paske Import Store at 3540 Norwood Drive, was stocking shelves with his wife shortly before midnight, after business hours, when he heard the intruder pry plywood off a window. Burglars had entered the store through the same window 24 hours earlier and stolen an estimated $800 to $900 in cash, checks and food stamps.
Saveng said he shouted warnings to the intruder not to come in, but the man came in anyway. Saveng told police the man threatened to kill him and moved toward Saveng.
Saveng, who came from Laos after serving with U.S. Special Forces troops during the Vietnam War, fired his Chinese-made AK-47 rifle, hitting the burglar several times. Williams died at the scene.
Saveng was not charged in the shooting.
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