CYPRESS, Texas – Officials at the Houston Area Women’s Center say last year, there were 81 domestic violence-related homicides in Houston.
That doesn’t even include the rest of Harris County where a man was accused of brutally killing his wife in Cypress last month.
Right now, there is a major call to action for all Houston area communities.
A woman, who asked not to be identified, was in disbelief learning what investigators say her neighbor, 63-year old Lam Ngoc Tran did to his wife, My Thai Dang at their Cypress home on Peralta Springs Lane back on Jan. 10.
“Shocking,” the woman said.
Harris County Assistant District Attorney Michael Hanover said, ”there was a pneumatic nail gun that we, at this time, believe to be consistent with the patterned bludgeoning injuries that she suffered.”
Hanover says after Tran murdered his wife, he turned the nail gun on himself in an attempted suicide. He survived and called police who entered the home and found the gruesome scene.
”We would have never guessed it,” the neighbor said. “We would’ve never thought.”
While neighbors say the couple was quiet and private, officials say there was a history of domestic abuse that the family was aware of.
”In this situation, there is evidence that the investigation has uncovered regarding a prior call for service to the residence,” Hanover said.
Hanover noted that Dang filed for divorce months ago and was due in court for a protective order hearing against Tran the day after she was killed.
“Four out of five domestic-related murders happen in that six to 18-month window when a survivor decided, ‘I’ve had enough I’m going to leave,’” said Chau Nguyen.
Chau Nguyen, who is the Chief Public Strategies Officer with the Houston Area Women’s Center, says many outcomes like Dang’s could be prevented with intervention.
”We call it the three Rs. Recognize the signs of abuse, Respond appropriately, and Refer,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen adds, before leaving an abusive relationship, it’s important to have a safety plan in place.
Visit HAWC.org, call 713-528-2131 for more information. Those in need can also stop by 1010 Waugh for additional resources.
Tran was being held in the Harris County Jail on a half a million dollar bond for murder.
If found guilty, he could get life in prison.