Texas Dad Turns Boy's Birthday Party Into Massacre of Wife's Family
Court documents reveal gunman father's violent marital history with his wife.
July 25, 2011 — -- An 11-year-old Texas boy is being cared for by relatives today after his roller rink birthday party turned into a massacre when his father opened fire on his wife and her family and then killed himself.
The town of Grand Prairie was stunned by the bloodshed that erupted this weekend when Tan Do, 35, pulled out a gun and ushered the children out of the way before shooting his estranged wife Trini Do, 29, and her family. Five people died and four others were wounded before Do shot and killed himself.
Family members and others in the Vietnamese community in Grand Prarie now fear for the future of the now orphaned boy who witnessed his family shot down.
A Police Department spokesman said of the boy, "He is with other family members."
About 30 relatives and friends gathered at Forum Roller World in Grand Prairie to celebrate the boy's birthday with skating and music. But at 7 p.m. the boy's father moved the children out of the way and began firing at his wife and her family.
"It was so fast. It probably felt like 10 or 15 minutes' worth and it was probably less than a minute and 15 seconds," skating rink owner Walt Hedrick told ABC's Dallas affiliate WFAA. "There was nothing anyone could do."
Tan Do killed his wife Trini Do, her sisters Michelle Ta, 28, Lynn Ta, 16, and her brother Hien Ta, 21 as well as Trini Do's sister-in-law Thuy Nguyen, 25. He then turned the gun on himself.
Boy's Roller Rink Birthday Party Turns Into Massacre
Four others were injured in the shooting, but are expected for make full recoveries.
Court documents obtained by WFAA reveal Tan Do's violent marital history.
Trini Do filed for divorce from her husband in 2008 and for a protective order in 2010. She withdrew both requests within months of filing.
In the affidavit for a protective order, Trini Do describes three violent incidents with her husband. She said that when she mentioned divorce, her husband "dragged me into the closet, pulled his gun and shoot [sic] one to the ceiling" threatening to shoot himself if she left him.
Another time, she recalled her husband taking "all the guns out" and she said he "dragged me into the kitchen and slammed me into his knee."
A third incident occurred on Thanksgiving when Tan Do would not allow his wife to sleep after an argument and "poured water in my face every time I closed my eyes."
She withdrew the request for the protective order in March 2011, against the advice of her attorney.
"Sometimes the victim will withdraw the complaint because they don't want their loved one to go to jail. They just want them to get help,"said Det. John Brimmer, public information officer for the Grand Prairie Police Department.
"Unfortunately, it was a marital problem that went extremely badly. No one had any inkling he would do anything like this."
Brimmer said that the police department's victim's assistance program is contacting all witnesses "to make sure their psychological and emotional needs are being met."
This was one of several deadly shootings across the United States over the weekend.
Shootings occurred all over the country spanning from Seattle to Chicago to Florida, among other places. At least 14 people were killed and over 50 were injured in these cross-country shootings.
The Texas shooting at the roller rink was the deadliest.