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Killings of 2 Teens 'Puzzling'

The youths, who had been shot, were found in different Anaheim locations. Police say the motive is unclear.

December 21, 1999|DAVID HALDANE and JUDY SILBER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Anaheim police tried Monday to piece together sketchy details about the fatal shooting of two 15-year-old high school students over the weekend.

"It's puzzling," Sgt. Joe Vargas, a spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department, said of the incident late Saturday afternoon in the 1800 block of West Crescent Avenue, an industrial part of town.

The two youths were identified as Cuong Minh Nguyen and Jerry Laliemthavisay, both students at Anaheim's Savannah High School.

"There's no clear motive, no identifiable suspect or suspect vehicle, and we have no descriptions," Vargas said.

Neither youth appeared to have any history of gang affiliation, he said.

The shooting occurred shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday as the youths walked along the street in the direction of a nearby shopping mall, Vargas said. One of them, found lying on the sidewalk with multiple gunshot wounds, was taken to Anaheim Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The other, found in an industrial area nearby, was declared dead at the scene.

Because the youths fell at different locations, Vargas said, it appeared that one of them may have tried to flee the attack. At least one person was seen speeding away from the area in a car, police said.

Josh Allen, who was visiting a friend Saturday in an apartment near the scene of the shooting, said he heard five or six shots. Investigators were interviewing witnesses, school officials, family members and acquaintances of the two youths.

"The majority of homicides are among subjects known to each other," Vargas said, "but when you don't have good witnesses, background or information they are very difficult cases."

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