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Complaint: Maplewood man shoots, kills son; stabs himself, tells negotiator he'll settle cable dispute in the ‘afterlife’
An 84-year-old Maplewood man allegedly shot and killed his son after a disagreement over installing cable at their home, and then stabbed himself, telling a police negotiator he would settle the dispute with his son "when they reached the afterlife,” court documents say.
Pang Vang is facing a second-degree murder charge in the killing of his son, Chue Vang, 36, at their Maplewood home on March 24, according to the criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court on Thursday, March 27.
Police received a call just before noon March 24 that a man had been shot, and the shooter had locked himself in a bedroom at a house in the 1800 block of East County Road B in Maplewood.
Because family members said there were weapons in the house, the Ramsey County SWAT team was summoned. It took more than two hours for authorities to enter the home, and then carry out the injured father and the deceased son on stretchers.
Police spoke to family members and a pastor to compile a description of events included in the complaint:
Shortly before the shooting, Pang Vang spoke to his pastor, telling him he was upset Chue Vang wouldn’t pay to install cable television service in the house. The son purchased the home last summer, and shared it with his father, mother and other family members.
Once he finished the call, Pang Vang went to the kitchen, where Chue Vang told his father he should talk to his sons about his problems. The father went to his bedroom and closed the door.
Chue Vang followed him, opened the bedroom door, and said, “Dad.” A shot rang out, and Chue Vang's mother saw him fall backward into the hall.
The mother ran to get another son, J.V., who was sleeping on a couch upstairs, shouting to him that their father had shot Chue Vang.
J.V. found his brother on the floor, bleeding and unresponsive.
Then, Pang Vang reportedly came out of the bedroom with the hunting shotgun. A shot was fired into the ceiling, as J.V. wrestled the weapon away from him.
J.V. called the police. When the officers arrived, he was standing outside holding the gun, which he then dropped.
Other family members, including Pang Vang’s wife, a third son and that son’s young child, left the home. The father stayed behind, barricading himself in the bedroom.
A Hmong-speaking police officer talked to Pang Vang on the phone.
The officer asked him to come out with his hands up, but Pang Vang said he couldn’t because he stabbed himself in the chest.
“He said he stabbed himself because he wanted to die,” the complaint says. Pang Vang reportedly admitted to the officer that he loaded the gun, shot his son and then stabbed himself with a knife.
He told the officer “he did not want to settle the issue in court. He would settle the dispute with his son when they reached the afterlife.”
The officer told the father to put his hands on the bedroom window, so officers could find him. Pang Vang complied, and the SWAT team entered the house. They found the father in the bedroom, covered in blood.
Authorities discovered Chue Vang’s body in the hallway nearby, with a shotgun wound to the chest. He was declared dead at the scene.
Pang Vang was transported to Regions Hospital for multiple stab wounds to his chest and neck. He was booked early March 26, but remains at the hospital.
Chue Vang's body was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office, where provisional reports deemed the death a homicide.
The medical examiner’s report said the shot tore through his lungs, aorta and trachea, and exited through his back.
Pang Vang hasn't had previous contacts with police, according to Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell. But the father's relatives told police he had "made threatening comments towards family members" in the past.
Schnell said even police investigators are struggling to understand how a seemingly minor dispute turned deadly.
“The hard part is that none of the explanations that the investigators heard gave any indication of this violent of response," he said.
Schnell said Pang Vang's mental health has not been assessed, but family members denied he had a history of psychological issues.
Chue Vang's death is the city's first homicide in 2014.
Pang Vang could face up to 40 years in prison for the charge.
Kaitlyn Roby can be reached at 651-748-7814 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at twitter.com/KRobyNews.