73-year-old Allegedly Slayed Stepdaughter, 11, and Shot and Stabbed 36-year-old Wife

Tanh Thien Tran (courtesy Garden Grove Police Department)

Garden Grove homicide detectives are dealing with one very messed up case: A 73-year-old man is accused of stabbing his 11-year-old stepdaughter to death as well as shooting and stabbing his 36-year-old wife multiple times.

Tanh Thien Tran, who resides in Garden Grove, also stabbed himself before officers took him into custody, says Garden Grove Police Lt. Carl Whitney.

His cops were sent to the 8900 block of Blossom Avenue just after 6:30 a.m. Wednesday about a domestic violence situation that included an injured female in front of a residence.

“Calling parties said the female was suffering from stab wounds and was bleeding,” says Whitney in a GGPD statement. “Officers arrived on scene and learned the suspect was the 73-year-old husband to the victim.”

While she was receiving first aid, officers learned her three children were still inside their residence, which is the back unit of a duplex, Whitney says.

Officers who went there were confronted by Tran, who was holding a knife and bleeding from self-inflicted knife wounds, according to Whitney, who adds his personnel immediately began negotiating with the suspect to surrender.

While those officers engaged Tran, others managed to enter the residence from another door and safely evacuate boys ages 3 and 6, neither of whom was harmed, the police lieutenant reports.

The 11-year-old girl, who had been stabbed, was down on the floor in the same room as Tran, and while police continued negotiating with him, two officers “covertly” grabbed the child and removed her from the house, Whitney says.

“Officers began first aid and life-saving efforts on her immediately,” he adds. “Officers continued to negotiate with the suspect and eventually deployed less-lethal rounds from a beanbag shotgun. The suspect was successfully disarmed and taken into custody.”

The mother and daughter were taken to a local trauma center, where the girl died from her injuries. The mother was being treated for multiple stab wounds and a gunshot wound.

Tran was taken to a different hospital, where he was treated for “superficial, self-inflicted knife wounds,” according to Whitney.

The boys were taken to child protective services for interviews with police detectives, who learned the 3-year-old is Tran’s son while the 6-year-old boy and deceased 11-year-old girl are his stepchildren, according to Whitney.

“Detectives believe the motive for this crime is domestic-violence related,” he says, adding they were still collecting evidence and talking with witnesses on Wednesday. If you have information that can help investigators, call 714.741.5704.

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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