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CA- Parolee apparently kills self after N. Sacramento homicide

Posted in Related Deaths
8-21-2008 California:

Bobbie Johnson bought beer for the guy who slept in a garage down the street from his North Sacramento home.

Ma Phompong, 28, returned the favor by shooting Johnson's longtime companion dead. Then Phompong beat the man who befriended him halfway to the grave.

On Thursday, Phompong, a parolee from Stanislaus County, apparently killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Fresno.

The apparent suicide ended a 12-hour standoff with police and a manhunt that began the night before with the shooting death of Anna McCaleb, 61, and the attack on Johnson, 59, that left him with a broken eye socket.

"I just hope nobody else has to go through something like this in their life," said Ginger Ferguson, Bobbie Johnson's sister. "People have to be very careful about who they befriend and let into their homes because you never know."

Ferguson said Thursday that her brother was undergoing facial reconstruction surgery to repair bones that shattered when he was hit in the eye. She said he did not yet know that McCaleb was slain.

"I don't want him to give up," Ferguson said. "Trying to keep his will is the main thing we're trying to do right now."

On Wednesday night, Sacramento police were called to a home on Price Court in North Sacramento, authorities said. Inside, officers found McCaleb shot to death. They found Johnson badly beaten and locked in a garage.

The suspect – later identified as Phompong – had stolen the victims' Toyota Tundra pickup truck and likely fled to Fresno, authorities said.

Sacramento police alerted officers in Fresno and said they suspected that Phompong had stolen several weapons and ammunition from the victims' home.

Fresno police spotted the pickup and learned that Phompong was likely in an apartment complex where a relative lived.

Police called in the SWAT team and used "flash-bang" devices and tear gas to try to get Phompong out of the apartment, Fresno police said. Officers never made contact with the suspect.

A robot sent into the apartment recorded images of a body lying on the floor.

Shortly after 11 a.m., SWAT officers found Phompong inside the apartment, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. They found a .30-30 long rifle, the same model Phompong reportedly stole from the North Sacramento victims, Fresno police spokesman Jeff Cardinale said.

Thursday evening, police were awaiting fingerprint results to positively identify the body as Phompong.

A relative of Phompong reached Thursday by phone declined an interview.

Phompong was paroled Aug. 22, 2006, after serving nearly nine years of a 13-year sentence for an assault with a deadly weapon conviction that stemmed from the 1998 knife attack. Stanislaus County Assistant District Attorney Carol Shipley said Phompong had initially been charged with attempted murder for the assault. She said Phompong attacked the victim because he had testified against him in a previous case.

In September 2006, Phompong had been ordered deported by a judge, but was released from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody that December under parole supervision, according to officials at ICE and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Phompong was assigned to a parole agent in Modesto.

"He had no permission to be there (in Sacramento) and if he was, it was not to the knowledge of his agent of record," said Gordon Hinkle, a CDCR spokesman.

Latoya McGee, a 25-year-old resident of Price Court, said Phompong had been living in her family's detached garage for three months. They knew he had been in prison, she said, but not why.

McGee described him as a nice guy who had been looking for a job and who didn't cause trouble for the family. He was so chatty, in fact, said McGee's sister Latrina, that she sometimes avoided him.

Phompong became friendly with Johnson and McCaleb, the sisters said. He sometimes helped the couple clean house or went places with them.

Latoya McGee said her family recently let Phompong sleep in the house to escape the heat and bugs in the garage.

"Sometimes he slept on the floor next to us," she said. "We never see no signs of this, though." ..News Source.. by Kim Minugh, Andy Furillo and Niesha Lofing


Standoff Over In Central Fresno; Suspect Found Dead

A nine-hour standoff in Central Fresno is finally over; the suspect found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The stand-off began around 3 a.m. Thursday at an apartment four-plex along the 3700 Block of Clay Avenue, where police believed a Sacramento murder suspect was located.

According to police, 28-year-old Ma Phompong, had been involved in a home invasion Wednesday night in Sacramento. Officers say he killed a 61-year-old woman, and severely beat her 59-year-old husband. Phompong is said to have stolen several firearms from the residence, along with a Toyota Tundra truck before fleeing. Police say the Phompong was an acquaintance of the couple.

Sacramento Police alerted Fresno Police that Phompong could be headed towards the Fresno area. Around 12:15 a.m. on Thursday, Fresno Police spotted the stolen truck near the intersection of Olive and Tyler.

By 3 a.m. police had surrounded the four-plex on Clay, where they believed Phompong was hiding. The apartment complex, along with nearby homes were evacuated.

Three of the evacuees had been inside the apartment with Phompong. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer has confirmed that one of them was Phompong's cousin. Dyer says Phompong may have chosen to flee to Fresno due to the family connection.

Fresno Police crisis negotiators, along with SWAT officers, and the Sacramento Police spent several hours attempting to make contact with Phompong. They deployed two flash bangs, and tried calling the apartment's phone line. No communication was ever made though, and officers decided to send in a robot.

The robot, equipped with a camera, detonated tear gas three times. The robot then made its way into the bedroom where it located what looked to be Phompong's feet. Officers then entered the apartment where they found Phompong dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Police believe Phompong killed himself with one of the firearms stolen in the Sacramento home invasion.

"Although we were not able to take the suspect into custody alive, he made the decision to take his own life," Dyer said in an afternoon news conference.

Dyer acknowledged that while there has been no formal identification of Phompong, including fingerprints, "We have every reason to believe that this is the individual that killed himself," Dyer said. According to Dyer, Phompong had other distinguishing characteristics.

The stand-off required the closure of several streets in the area, including Olive to Tyler and Millbrook to Cedar. Police say that no schools in the area were impacted by the situation, and no residents were put at-risk. "We did everything we could in terms of exercising precautions to make sure this operation was done extremely safely," Dyer said.

This was not Phompong's first run-in with the law. Back in 1998 he was involved in another home invasion in the Modesto area, in which the homeowner was stabbed to death. Phompong pleaded to a lesser charge of assault with a deadly weapon, and was currently out on parole. Phompong was also a registered sex offender. ..News Source.. by KMPH Fox

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