A Vietnamese-American driver was shot and killed by police in Santa Ana in the early hours of Friday, after he allegedly ran his car at the officers, the Register reported here.
Binh Van Nguyen, 39, of Westminster, had been spotted sitting in the back seat of his car in the 200 block of Maxine Street – a high crime area reputed for prostitution. According to SAPD Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, witnesses reported Nguyen in the vehicle about two hours before the shooting.
“It was suspicious in nature being that it’s a residential area at 12:45 a.m.,” Bertagna said.
When police approached the white Toyota Camry, Nguyen jumped into the front seat, started the car, and put it in gear.
“Officers are telling him to turn it off. He refuses … drives the vehicle at the officers,” Bertagna said.
“That’s when the officer-involved shooting occurs,” he added.
Nguyen was pronounced dead at the scene.
It is unknown what Nguyen was doing there in the middle of the night. NBC4 reported here that Nguyen “had prior arrests that included assault with a deadly weapon, narcotic violations, probation violations and terrorists threats.” At the time Nguyen was shot, he was not on parole or probation.
SAPD would not even say whether Nguyen was alone in the car.