San Mateo police know one thing for sure - a young mother died protecting her two young children. Loan Kim Nguyen, 24, was the victim of a violent home invasion on Tuesday.
The shootout between police and the intruder, identified by police late Wednesday afternoon as Raymond Gee, 22, and Nguyen's death has shaken the rest of the normally quiet San Mateo neighborhood.
The 24-year-old mother was critically wounded by a bullet as she lowered her two young children through a window into the waiting arms of police.
Neighbor Alex Hernandez recorded before, during and after the shooting that broke out between San Mateo police and Gee on Hobart Avenue. He also witnessed Nguyen's heroic act of lowering her three and one-year-old children to the safety of police just be fore she was shot.
"I was recording and then I see the kids run by, and they are just carrying them off, a few moments later I see them carry something else, which was the mom wrapped up in a blanket and you could see blood stains," Hernandez said
This whole scene started to unfold before neighbors' eyes after San Mateo police received a 911 call from Nguyen's husband Dennis, after he'd received a text message at work from her about the home invasion.
The SWAT team responded, but negotiations went nowhere. Instead, the windows riddled with gunshots share the horrific story of a mass exchange of gunfire that left Nguyen and Gee dead.
What is now understood is that Gee had been stalking Nguyen, in person and over the Internet, and that Gee had waited for Nguyen's husband to leave for work Tuesday morning before entering the home.
Gee assualted Nguyen and threatened to kill her several times, San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer said.
A memorial of flowers, candles and notes of grief has been growing outside the Nguyen home. Neighbors say the family had only lived in the house for about a year. Shaken neighbors say the only bit of strange solace comes from police revealing that this crime was not a random act.
"As badly as it sounds, I think it feels better to us if it was someone of a known situation, versus random, because it makes rest of the neighborhood feel safer," Hoefer said.
San Mateo police believe that it was Gee who fatally shot Nguyen before killing himself.