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3 Suspects Arrested In Gang Slaying Of San Jose Resident Tong Nguyen

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- Two men -- Nathaniel Talivaa and Jenevee Pritchard -- and a juvenile have been arrested in the February gang slaying of Tong Nguyen, San Jose police announced Tuesday.

Nguyen was found lying on the sidewalk in the 1400 block of East Santa Clara St. at approximately 2:09 a.m. on February 9.

The 48-year-old was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. His slaying was San Jose's fourth homicide in 2021.

(L-R) Nathaniel Talivaa, Jenevee Pritchard (San Jose Police Dept.)
(L-R) Nathaniel Talivaa, Jenevee Pritchard (San Jose Police Dept.)

An extensive follow-up investigation led to the identification of three suspects.

On March 16, San José officers with the assistance of the MERGE Unit located the suspects and took all three into custody.

"I'm glad they caught those responsible because it's a human life. The dignity, the respect that we all must have for human life unfortunately is not always followed," says Father Antonio Silveira, pastor of Five Wounds Church which is located a short distance from the murder scene.

Talivaa, 20, and Pritchard, 23, both of San Jose, were being held on murder charges with gang enhancement. The juvenile faces similar charges.

Detectives said security camera video showed the suspects stalking the victim for several blocks before shooting and killing him. In court documents, police say the suspects belong to a violent street gang named Sons of Samoa.

"Those who have evil thoughts and do evil deeds, they don't care. And those people weren't part of our community. They just happened to come after this innocent guy and took his life," said Father Silveira.

Father Silveira told KPIX members of his parish prayed for the victim on the morning of the attack and for several weeks afterwards.

KPIX tried to ask San Jose police additional questions about this violent street gang that apparently targeted a member of the public at random, but authorities would not go on camera.

Those unanswered questions about exactly who was behind the slaying has left the community in San Jose understandably jittery.

While the court documents and police reports described a three-person crew that carried out the crime, authorities may be still be trying to determine if anyone else knew about, helped plan or possibly even ordered the slaying.

Anyone with information on the slaying was asked to contact Detective Sergeant Bagon #3589 or Detective Sanchez #4126 of the San José Police Department's Homicide unit at 408-277-5283.

Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 408-947-7867.

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