On December 13, Andrew Nguyen Doan, a former student of the University of California, Irvine, allegedly killed his mother before committing suicide on campus.
As per the New York Post, at around 4 pm on Tuesday, Doan, 36, threw his mother, Thao Thai Nguyen, 77, off a campus building before jumping down himself. Authorities found both dead at the scene.
In an official statement, California authorities summed up the course of events. The statement read:
"The investigation has determined Doan picked up Nguyen and threw her off the landing of a multistory building. Doan then jumped from the same landing to his death."
According to the Los Angeles Times, Andrew Nguyen Doan joined the university as a biological sciences major in September 2017, before dropping out of the course in June 2019. That year, he was admitted to a mental health facility, where he reportedly sexually assaulted a fellow patient.
While authorities noted his past mental health issues, they stated that they still had not determined Doan's motivation behind what appeared to be a murder-suicide.
Andrew Nguyen Doan was arrested in 2019 and given three years’ probation
As reported by Fox, California authorities made contact with Andrew Nguyen Doan several times in 2019. After Doan was later accused of assaulting a fellow patient at the mental health facility, he was arrested but released from custody after his mother provided $100,000 in bail.
Orange County Superior Court records indicate that Doan was sentenced to 156 days in jail after pleading guilty to the charges. The New York Post noted that he received three years of probation, which ended in July 2022. At the time of the alleged murder-suicide, he was living with his mother in Gillman Street, Irvine.
Andrew Bertin, a neighbor of Andrew Nguyen Doan and Tao Thai Nguyen, said that while Doan had a history of mental health issues, he was surprised that the 36-year-old had murdered his own mother. Bertin said:
“(Doan) was a troubled young man. (He) had demons. It’s a horrible thing.”
Bertin said that Tao Thai Nguyen, who was frequently seen in her garden, seemed to have an amicable relationship with her son. He told the Press-Telegraph that he had never seen the two argue.
University of California Chancellor Howard Gillman released a statement regarding the incident. The statement read:
"It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death on campus of two individuals this afternoon."
"At such a time, our primary thoughts are with the victims and their families, But there are also members of the UCI community who have been contacted to assist with the investigation and to share their knowledge of what may have happened."
The University of California, Irvine, stated that Doan no longer had any affiliation with the university.