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Police Investigating Teen's Death as Possible Homicide

June 25, 1994|GREG HERNANDEZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WESTMINSTER — Investigators have still not determined if a 17-year-old who died from a gunshot wound to the head shot himself while playing with a handgun or was shot by someone else, police said Friday.

The body of Quy Tung Nguyen of Westminster was found Thursday afternoon inside an apartment in the 13700 block of Edwards Street by officers investigating reports of gunfire, Sgt. Mike Mittelstaedt said.

"There were people inside of the living room passing the gun around and playing with it," Mittelstaedt said. "The victim suffered a head wound and the gun was found underneath his body. But we have not proved that he did it to himself so we are handling it like a homicide."

Immediately after the shooting, two young men were seen running out of the apartment, witnesses told police. They were later tracked down by investigators and are not considered suspects, the sergeant said.

"They are witnesses, not suspects," Mittelstaedt said. "Apparently, each had their reasons for not wanting to be there after the shooting. One was on probation."

Neither the victim nor the two who ran from the apartment lived there. The female occupant of the apartment was in the shower when the shooting occurred and called police after hearing a gunshot, police said.

"It's up to us to prove one way or another," Mittelstaedt said. "We haven't proven that it was a homicide. But it's looking more and more like the deceased did it to himself."

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