Father admits to fatally shooting son, a former UMD student
An 84-year-old Maplewood man admitted in court Thursday that he fatally shot his son after the younger man demanded he move out of their home.
Pang Vang entered the courtroom from an inmate holding area on a walker and sat in a chair during the hearing.
He told the court via an interpreter that his wife said March 24 that she wanted a divorce. They argued in the kitchen of the house in the 1800 block of East County Road B, and then his son, Chue Vang, intervened.
“He came out of the bedroom and said, ‘Get out of here; it’s my house. My mother and the rest of us don’t want you. So you should just leave.’
“So I shot him,” Pang Vang said.
Ramsey County prosecutor Dawn Bakst asked him whether there was also an argument about cable TV.
His son owned the home and didn’t want to install it, Pang Vang had told police.
“I wanted to view it,” Pang Vang said. “He told me that, ‘Everything costs money, Dad.’ He didn’t say it nice to me. He said horrible words to me.”
But that was about three days before the shooting, he said. Chue Vang, 36, was shot in the chest and died at the home.
Vang attended the University of Minnesota Duluth and had worked at the Copeland Community Center and later at the Valley Youth Center before returning to the Twin Cities to help his aging parents. His death stunned many residents in the Twin Ports.
Pang Vang pleaded guilty Wednesday as charged to second-degree intentional murder. State sentencing guidelines call for a prison term of about 22-30 years in prison, but the defense will ask for less time, attorney Nicole Kubista said.
The family arrived in the Twin Cities from Laos in the 1980s. Pang Vang told the judge that he hoped to get a more lenient sentence in part because he had served on the American side in the Laotian military during the Vietnam War.
At 84, Pang Se Vang is the oldest defendant to be charged with murder in Minnesota since the state system began tracking records in the 1970s, though some counties did not join the system until the 1980s, according to a spokesman with the state judicial branch.
The second-oldest on record was Delbert Huber, 81, charged with second-degree murder in 2011 in the fatal shooting of a teacher at a Kandiyohi farm. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison. He died June 11.
Chue Vang was single and worked in tech support, his brother Chong Vang, 36, said.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 8 in Ramsey County District Court.
Friends said Chue Vang had a gift for bridging the cultural divide between the Twin Ports’ older generation of Hmong and a younger generation raised in the U.S.
News Tribune staff contributed to this report.