OCDA Charges Chuyen Van Vo With Murder for CSUF Killing

Chuyen Van Vo booking photo courtesy Fullerton PD

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer charged Chuyen Van Vo, 51, of Huntington Beach with murder for the Aug. 19 stabbing of Steven Shek Keung Chan in a Cal State Fullerton parking lot, the DA’s office announced on Friday.

“The Orange County District Attorney’s Office extends its deepest sympathies to the loved ones of Steven Shek Keung Chan,” Spitzer said in an Aug. 23 OCDA news release. “The Titan community lost a beloved member of its family as a result of this senseless act. Schools should be safe havens for students to learn and thrive. Cal State Fullerton has made it clear that the safety of their students, faculty, and visitors remains their top priority.”

Fullerton Police detectives arrested Vo on Aug. 21 after releasing still photos taken from surveillance video as well as a sketch of the suspect, the OCDA’s office announced on Friday. Though detectives still don’t have a motive for the crime, beyond that Chan and Vo had been co-workers at CSUF. Chan, 57,  had retired in 2017 as a school budget director but had recently returned to the school as a consultant in the international student affairs office, CNN reported .

“Fullerton Police Detectives believe, based on their investigation, VO acted alone during the planning and commission of this murder,” Fullerton PD announced on Aug. 22. “We now know that VO and CHAN were co-workers,
employed by Cal State Fullerton. Beyond being coworkers, we can offer no further information regarding the specific employment status of either of them. While much has already been done, in the coming days and weeks, we will be working with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to understand the motive behind this tragic killing and to pursue a successful prosecution of VO.”

The DA charged Vo with “one felony count of murder, an enhancement for the personal use of a knife and a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait,” the DA’s office said on Friday. He faces a minimum sentence of life without parole.

Vo appeared in court on Friday, but his arraignment was continued to Oct. 4. He’s currently being held at the Orange County Jail without bail.

Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.

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