By Andria Simmons
LAWRENCEVILLE - A 36-year-old Vietnamese man shot and killed his common-law wife Tuesday night and then killed himself at a home in Norcross.
Trang Le, 30, returned to her house at 1436 Danbury Drive at 11 p.m. with two friends. She was walking toward the front door of her house when her estranged husband drove up in his car. Police have not released the man's identity pending notification of his family.
Without a word, the man exited his car, walked up to Le and fired a single gunshot into her head at close range, said Cpl. Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.
"There was definitely a stalking element. He was not laying in wait when she approached the house, but he was definitely in the area," Moloney said.
The suspect then shot himself in the head.
Le was pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect was hospitalized for about four hours before he died from the self-inflicted gunshot wound at Gwinnett Medical Center.
Police had never been called to the house to handle a dispute in the past, Moloney said. The man moved out of the house several months ago due to ongoing domestic problems, Moloney said. Up until then, the couple lived together with their 10-year-old daughter and Le's mother.
Next-door neighbor Tom Nguyen, 20, said he knew Le and the suspect were having relationship difficulties because he occasionally heard them fighting. Nguyen said the suspect didn't seem like a violent person.
"He was really cheerful and happy all the time, every time I see him," Nguyen said.
The victim's and Nguyen's family were close, and both are Vietnamese, Nguyen said. After the shooting, Le's mother grabbed her 10-year-old granddaughter and ran next-door, frantically ringing the doorbell until someone answered, Nguyen said.
"They were like ringing the doorbell rapidly and we were like 'What's going on?'" Nguyen said. "They said the husband shot the wife and shot himself."
The 10-year-old is being cared for by her maternal grandmother.