A San Jose police officer says he was moved to go above and beyond for a family who suffered an unimaginable loss.
Officer Huan Nguyen, a 17-year veteran with the San Jose Police Department, learned about the incident in San Jose’s Little Saigon neighborhood, where he himself grew up. A 37-year-old Vietnamese immigrant was gunned down after an altercation with a man who cut him off while he was driving with his wife to pick up birthday party supplies.
According to reports, Phuoc Lam slammed on his brakes so that he didn’t hit the car that backed out in front of him. When he got out to assess the situation, Lam and the two suspects in the oncoming vehicle got into an argument. Lam’s wife Dieu Huynh got out to see what was happening, and at that moment, Lam was fatally shot, leaving behind the woman and their two young sons. Nguyen says that the story deeply affected him.
"We try not to get emotional, but sometimes these things really affect me," said Nguyen. "It kind of hit the soft core of my body."
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Nguyen says he decided to launch a website to help raise money for the widow and her two sons, one of whom is severely autistic, and surprisingly, the fundraiser brought in almost $100,000 for the family.
"I'm very thankful, and I'm very surprised," said Huynh.
Nguyen, who himself is a father of two, says he knew that he had to help this family while they went through the loss of the man that kept them together.
"When I met this family, I could see they were going to need help," said Nguyen. "It really, really got to me. But this isn't about me at all. My job is to help others. No amount of money can replace their dad, but this can help those boys as they grow up.”
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Nguyen says he was granted permission by San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel to launch the online campaign and adds that he’s been keeping watch for the suspect that gunned Lam down earlier this month.