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Truck Driver Shot to Death

Steven Nguyen, 31, had radioed his dispatcher that a freeway motorist was firing at him.

June 05, 2004|Erin Ailworth | Times Staff Writer

A truck driver who had repeatedly radioed his dispatcher early Friday that someone was shooting at him from another vehicle was found dead next to his truck in Willowbook.

Steven Nguyen, 31, of Westminster was shot multiple times in the chest and was found on the sidewalk just before 5 a.m., said Sheriff's Deputy Josie Woolum.

"We don't know if he was pulled out of his truck or if he got out voluntarily," Woolum said.

Nguyen had hauled fuel for Beneto Bulk Transport for five years, a company employee said. He is survived by his wife and 1-year-old son.

He was en route from Long Beach to Sylmar when he began calling his dispatcher at 4:20 a.m. to say he was being fired upon, Woolum said.

During the next 30 minutes, he drove from the westbound Gardena Freeway to the northbound Harbor Freeway to the eastbound Century Freeway. He exited at Wilmington Avenue.

Sheriff's deputies received a 911 call from the Beneto dispatcher and arrived to find Nguyen's body on Wilmington Avenue, a block from King/Drew Medical Center.

Officials closed the Harbor and Century freeways for almost two hours to search for shell casings.

Woolum called the shooting "very scary, very tragic." Anyone with information has been asked to call the sheriff's homicide bureau at (323) 890-5500.

Woolum also warned motorists to be "extremely cautious."

"If someone is shooting at you ... pull right into a sheriff's station, a fire station, a place of safety," Woolum said. "Never pull off to the side of the road and confront somebody."

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