Hundreds show up to honor Cindy Nguyen

September 24, 2011 12:56:38 AM PDT
Friends and family gathered in San Jose Friday night to remember 60-year-old Cindy Nguyen. The mother and Vietnamese talk show host was shot to death one week ago, after she was carjacked from a shopping center. The vigil was held near the spot where Nguyen was carjacked.

"It's a huge loss to the family. It's a huge loss to the community," said

Close to 800 people attended her vigil at The Plant shopping center off Curtner Avenue. Paul Castillo was named as the suspect who allegedly carjacked her at the shopping center after shooting a man at a gas station earlier in the day. That crime spree last week has moved the entire city.

"I'm just devastated by this. I just think it's heartbreaking. It could have been me, it could have been anybody," said San Jose resident Patricia Martinez-Roach.

San Jose resident Michael Tran says the Vietnamese community has been hit hard.

"This is a very sad occasion... just to come to support. We are a very small community, but very close," said Tran.

The vigil and life celebration was organized by Nguyen's employer, Nick Pham, who says she was more like a sister to him and actually to everyone.

"There's no one that she did not love. There's no one that she did not care about. There's no one that she would not drop everything to do something for before she thought of herself," said Pham.

Everyone who spoke at the vigil spoke of her love of her Vietnamese community and her radio show which informed on real estate issues. No one spoke of how she died.

Throughout the candlelight vigil and celebration of Nguyen's life, there was no mention of vengeance or anger against her suspected killer, Castillo.

Her son, Kah Nguyen, called for kindness not anger.

"I urge each and every one of you to not be saddened or angred by the tragedy that has struck her," said Kah.

Speakers included a host of city officials and San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore. He told ABC7 that although murder suspect Castillo now faces life in prison, those who helped him evade police will also answer for this senseless crime.

"We are going to make it a point to prosecute all of those people who helped him," said Moore.

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