Suspect in triple fatal fire on the run

November 16, 2009 9:12:45 PM PST
A man suspected of killing three people and starting a fire to cover up the crime is still on the loose. Neighbors reported hearing gunshots coming from a home on Brooks near Common just north of downtown Sunday. Neighbors there tell us they saw the suspect set the fire, close the doors and windows and then take off with a gun still in his hand. And that is enough evidence for detectives who on Monday filed capital murder charges against Ken Pham, 36.

"I came very close to being the fourth one (victim) for him last night," said witness Roy Lozano, who says he heard gunshots in the apartment above the Laundromat and spotted a man inside. "We could see this individual closing all the windows upstairs."

A few moments later, he says the smoke began to rise. And he says he confronted Pham, who by then had begun to lock the front gate.

"I told him, I said, 'There's a fire up above. Don't close that security gate,' and he turned around and pulled the gun on me," said Lozano.

Lozano says he turned and ran.

Firefighters later discovered three bodies inside the burning home, one still clutching a cell phone to his ear in what may have been a call for help.

Police believe Pham shot all three men, then set the fire to cover his tracks. Witnesses say Pham was still wearing the uniform he had as a licensed security guard, similar to one found in the ashes in the fire.

They say he took off quickly in a green Toyota Camry he owned, leaving one neighbor grateful to be alive.

"I have no idea," said Lozano. "God is great." Two of the victims have been identified as Say Ral Trieu and David Aguilar. Trieu, 40, was the one found dead with a cell phone up to his ear.

Pham, who was identified by a witness from a photo lineup, faces capital murder charges.

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