Business owner fatally shot during robbery

November 30, 2008 6:17:06 PM PST
The killer of a liquor store clerk is on the loose. And his wife is pleading his for his killer to be caught. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Police in Webster are looking at surveillance video from around the store on NASA Road 1 near Egret Bay Boulevard. A 5-year-old boy and his 3-year-old sister will now grow up without a father.

"The kids keep asking me, 'Where's daddy, mommy?' when he should be home," said Phuong Vu, whose husband Thanh Pham, was shot to death Saturday night. "There's no explanation now to tell them."

Pham was shot to death at about 7pm Saturday inside the business, which the couple owned.

"I don't know why something terrible, terrible would happen to him like this," said Vu.

Webster police say a man entered the store, showed a gun and demanded cash. Pham was shot twice. A customer found his body about a half hour later.

Police say Pham complied with the robber's requests, that there was no sign of a struggle inside the store. Still, for reasons unbeknownst to his family, he was shot.

"Maybe they were scared. Maybe they thought he's gonna try to get a gun, something," said Hau Vu, the victim's brother-in-law.

Vu describes her husband as a sweet, hardworking man. He sang in the choir at the Vietnamese Martys' Catholic Church in Houston.

One witness did see someone run from the scene of the murder. Police are looking at surveillance video from inside and outside the store to see if it can help identify a suspect.

Vu hopes someone will turn that gunman in. She wants her husband's killer brought to justice.

"Whoever did it, they have to pay for what they did," she said. "It has to be fair."

Fairness, she says, would be a similar fate.

Pham's death is another loss for members of the Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church. The church lost five parishioners in the bus crash that killed 17 people in Sherman in August. The victims were on their way to a religious retreat in Missouri when their bus skidded off a bridge.

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