A 21-year-old University of Washington student was fatally stabbed more than 100 times by her stepfather while trying to protect her mother from his abuse, authorities said.
In court documents obtained by HuffPost, police said 21-year-old Angelina Tran was apparently awakened in the middle of the night by a commotion in the family’s kitchen on August 7 at their home in Beacon Hill, Seattle. According to the documents, Tran saw her mother being beaten by her stepfather Nghiep Kein Chau, 54, and intervened at the cost of her own life.
“Angelina Trans Intervention allowed her mother to escape and hide in a nearby bedroom, but the defendant did not stop his attack,” prosecutors said in a criminal complaint against Chau.
Chau was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder and is scheduled to be charged on August 31.
According to a police statement on the probable cause, security camera footage from August 7 showed Chau slapping Trans’s mother at least 15 times before Tran confronted him. She then stepped between Chau and her mother to get him to stop, authorities said.
Allegedly, Chau continued to beat up Trans’ mother and then punched Tran in the face as well. Her mother managed to break free and ran down the stairs while Tran held on to Chau until they both fell near a collapsible doghouse in the center of the room, according to the probable cause document.
Police said Chau then dragged a piece of the doghouse that Tran was lying on to a kitchen cabinet and opened a drawer containing several knives.
According to police, Chau began stabbing Tran when she resisted and continued to stab his stepdaughter even after she “was no longer showing signs of life.”
Chau allegedly paused while he stabbed Tran and told police that at one point he changed his clothes because he was cold from the blood spattering.
In the court papers, police described video footage showing Chau interrupting his attack on Tran to search the home for the trans mother, whom he allegedly told police he also intended to kill. Trans mom hid nearby and called 911.
Police said they were “visibly upset” upon arrival at the grim sight of the trans mother with “fresh bleeding injuries” on her face accompanied by her trans grandmother. According to court documents, police found Chau injured, covered in blood and holding a bloodied knife.
Above, police said they found Trans’ apparently deceased body in the kitchen.
According to court documents, Chau and Trans’s mother had been together for 19 years and married last year. Chau allegedly told officers that he and Trans’ mom had argued about money and that the argument escalated when he hit her.
Trans supporters have posted a fundraiser GoFundMe for the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging to commemorate Tran, who they said had a “passion for helping the elderly.”
“Her bright smile was a source of immense joy and while the pain of her loss runs deep, we believe Angelina wants us to stay strong and keep our smiles,” the fundraiser reads.
Victor Balta, a spokesman for the University of Washington, told HuffPost in an email that the school was “shocked and saddened” by the death of one of its students.
“Our thoughts are with Angelina’s family and loved ones,” Balta said. “Advisors and other resources are available to students, faculty and staff, and we encourage those in need to turn to them for support at this very difficult time.”
Julie Kientz, Professor and Chair of Human-Centered Design and Engineering at UW, described Tran as an incredible student who “had a passion for creating accessible and inclusive design”.
“She has been involved in several targeted research groups, including developing a toolkit for peer support for community safety and the other analyzing wilderness medicine data from a field site in southeast Alaska,” Kientz said.
Kientz added that Tran has been active in multiple organizations on and off campus.
“Angelina’s faculty told me that she was an excellent student and very passionate about design research. I know we will miss her very much,” said Kientz.
Accordingly Data According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three women has reported experiencing physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner at some point in their lives.
Do you need help? In the US, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). National Domestic Violence Hotline.