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O.C. police: Alleged gunman blamed victims for job loss

March 25, 2009 | 12:09 pm

A man who allegedly killed two Southern California Gas Co. workers before turning a gun on himself had blamed the victims and other employees at an Anaheim office for his resignation in 2007, police said.

Phong Thuc Tran, 36, of Fountain Valley, "believed he was forced to resign," said Sgt. Tim Schmidt of the Anaheim Police Department. "It wasn't the correct perception, but he perceived that the victims played a part."

Police suspect Tran shot and killed Hung Duy Dao, a 37-year-old energy technician, March 17 in the employee parking lot of a Southern California Gas Co. facility  in Anaheim. The next day, Tran allegedly killed Charles Santisteban outside his Pomona home. Santisteban was a 20-year company employee and manager for offices in Alhambra and Pasadena.

Company officials said Tran had worked with the two victims in Anaheim but resigned in November 2007.  Schmidt said Tran believed "Mr. Santisteban played a role in that, even though personnel records don't reflect it."

Tran also believed Dao had been mean to him and may have conspired against him and that other employees were involved, Schmidt said. Tran was later found in his car, parked near the Anaheim Police Department, with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital early Thursday morning and pronounced dead Saturday. Three handguns were recovered from Tran's vehicle, police said.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz