"There is an actual increase of violence in the Asian community, and we have seen an increase in gang activity."
     To reach the supervisor's office, Nguyen had to cross the assembly plant floor, and en route he shot four former colleagues. First, he approached Chris Newell, an electronics repairman who had just earned a bachelor's degree in engineering and had recently announced his engagement. Nguyen aimed the pistol and unloaded two bullets into Newell's back, killing him instantly.
     As screams irrupted and workers panicked, Nguyen shouted, "Get down or get out of the way," as he began stalking his next victim. With a methodical directness, Nguyen walked up to Son Van Truong, one of the plant's most skilled repairmen and who had plans to open a TV repair shop. Nguyen shot him in the back of the head. Like a rag doll, Truong collapsed.
     A nearby worker vomited and then leaped under a table head-first, his buttocks protruding into the florescent glare. Nguyen, as if targeting a dart board, raised his gun and fired a single shot at the exposed rump.
     At that point, Nguyen paused to reload the gun. The task completed, he sprinted across the cement floor toward the management offices. He brushed past Song Sabandith, a 39 year-old Laotian, who in a fit of terror raised his arms and begged in his native tongue, "Man, don't shoot. I surrender." Inexplicably, the gunman elbowed Sabandith aside and shot another man, standing nearby in a stunned silence, twice in the back.
     As Sabandith, in tears, dropped to his knees, the gunman dashed across the room to his ex-supervisor's office and kicked in the door. The supervisor's desk was empty. She had left for lunch just before Nguyen had entered the building. In the next desk over sat Teresa Pham, who had trained Nguyen to assemble computer interfaces. Nguyen shot her. The bullet instantly stopped her heart.
     Watching Pham's head flop onto her desk, Nguyen raised his gun, pressed its muzzle to his temple and pulled the trigger. Police and psychologists later questioned witnesses, but no one could conclude what events or hardships could have provoked such rage.
     These incidents represent only the tip of an increasingly bloody iceberg. Each week Los Angeles and San Francisco area newspapers carry at least one Asian-related crime story, and undoubtedly, dozens more take place unnoticed.

Little Saigon Murders

     In April Little Saigon in Orange County experienced a rash of late-night gang-style shootings that targeted café patrons. In the final week of May, two 19-year-old Laotian Americans were arrested and charged with the murder of a German tourist and the shooting of her husband. The German couple had parked their car at a scenic viewpoint overlooking Hemet in the San Jacinto Mountains when the gunmen pounced. The apparent motive was robbery.
     "There is an actual increase of violence in the Asian community, and we have seen an increase in gang activity," says Dr Stanly Sue, director of the National Research Center on Asian American Mental Health. "And people are noticing it more. Because of the stereotype of Asian Americans as the ethnic group that's always doing so well, when people see Asian violence it grabs their attention."

     Sue points to an increasing number of pressures that may account for the spread of spilled blood. Recent immigrants may grow frustrated trying to function in a new and shockingly fast-pasted environment and become disgruntled by an unforeseen lack of economic opportunity. The children of immigrants may feel torn between new and old country values, especially if their parents refuse to acculturate.
     Naturally, the increasing immigration rate compounds the pressures. A decade ago members of a smaller and tighter Asian community could provide each other with personal support, but now the impersonal nature of an ever-growing Asian population alienates those on the fringe who require the most attention.

murder like the one allegedly committed by Lisa Peng may have been prevented if she had had access to a circle of close friends or at least a circle of Chinese speakers with whom to consult, believe some Asian community leaders in Los Angles. Peng was motivated by a profound frustration stemming from jealously and helplessness, contend the police.
     The Pengs had been married 19 years in October 1990 when Jim Peng met his mistress-to-be at a resort bar in China. Over cocktails they chatted, flirted and exchanged phone numbers. The following morning Jennifer telephoned Jim to arrange an evening out with mutual acquaintances. They parted that night as friends, but the image of Jennifer, a graceful and angular beauty, lingered in Jim's imagination, although he was much older, shorter and pudgy.
     Two months later a business trip took Jim to Shanghai, Jennifer's home town. He asked her out and they became lovers. Jim hired her for $129 a month to work for his company in Shanghai, and he opened a Hong Kong bank account for her with a $300 check. Their romance blossomed that winter and thrived over the next year. They met whenever Jim could arrange a business trip to Shanghai, and when apart they maintained a correspondence.
     One of Jim's letters to Jennifer read in part: "It's time for a temporary goodbye again. Although time goes by so fast when we're together. Every minute, every second. It feels like life is so fulfilled."
     In July 1992 the affair hit complications. Jennifer became pregnant, and to conceal the child, Jim moved her to the Mission Viejo apartment, where he could continue to see her in absolute privacy. The Pengs owned a second home in nearby Rancho Santa Margarita, where they spent four to five months each year. PAGE 4

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