SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The family of Chaviz Nguyen gathered this morning at the scene of the shooting in downtown Springfield to lay flowers near where the 26-year-old was shot to death.
Nguyen’s father, stepmother, sisters, cousin, and other family members were there Wednesday morning.
Chea Nguyen, the father of Chaviz Nguyen and the owner of Lucky Time, was sitting at a restaurant with his family when he received a call from his daughter saying that his son had been shot. He said he rushed to see what was going on and found people doing CPR on his son to try to revive him.
“I didn’t even get a chance to talk to him, you know, to say a last goodbye. You know, I didn’t even get to see his face,” said Chea Nguyen.
He asked to see his son, but officers told him that they were still investigating and he would have to wait.
“They told me they’re gonna contact me today. I’m still waiting for a phone call so I can see my son so I can see what’s wrong with him, you know, where he’s shot at, what happened. There’s a lot of questions I need to ask, and I want to know,” said Chea.
Springfield Police officers responded to a vehicle near the intersection of Campbell Avenue and College Street just after 8:15 p.m. Tuesday night. The vehicle has been shot several times, and both victims had gunshot wounds.
Chea said that the pain of losing his son is indescribable.
“It hurts a lot, you know. My heart is broken since last night… My son, he left us to a better place, I know that,” said Chea.
After hearing that Chaviz protected his pregnant girlfriend during the shooting, Chea Nguyen said that he feels proud of him. “He has a kid on the way, you know. She’s seven months pregnant, about to be due soon, in December. He’s excited to know what the sex is… We don’t even know if it’s a boy or girl yet and that is so sad,” said Chea.
The Springfield Police Department said that the woman, Chaviz’s girlfriend, was also shot but has non-life-threatening injuries. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Chea said that Chaviz was an honorable man who was beloved by his friends and family.
“We want to pay respect, we love him. He’s a good kid. He’s never done anything wrong; all his brothers and his sisters love him. He loves everybody. All his friends love him. He’s a very honorable man, you know, he takes care of his kid. He loves his kid, he loves his sister. He takes his sister everywhere. That’s something that I’m going to miss forever. Forever,” said Chea.
Chea said that Chaviz had just turned 26 in October.
The suspect in the shooting fled in a vehicle and police have not been able to find them yet. Chea said that amongst the pain of losing his son, he also wants to see justice served.
“I hope that soon the police will find out who did this, and bring him to justice,” said Chea.
When asked what he would say to the suspect if given a chance, Chea Nguyen said, “I wanna say you need to confess it up, come forward, and be a man. If not, they’re gonna find you. It doesn’t matter where you go, where you run. You can hide for now, but sooner or later, they’re gonna get you,” said Chea.