GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – A woman shot dead by her estranged husband at a Texas skating rink had accused him of hitting her and threatening her with guns in the months before the shooting rampage that also felled four of her family members, according to court documents.
KTVT-TV in Dallas reported that Trini Do obtained a protective order last December against Tan Do but had it withdrawn earlier this year against a prosecutor's advice because she wanted to give him another chance. She had also sought a divorce in 2008 but withdrew that filing months later.
Police say 35-year-old Tan Do of Grand Prairie opened fire on his estranged wife and her family Saturday night at a birthday party for their 11-year-old son. Four other people were injured. Do shot and killed himself at the end of the rampage.
Investigators have cited the couple's ongoing marital problems and say they may have argued before the shooting. A public records search showed no criminal record for Tan Do.
Trini Do, 29, alleges a pattern of physical violence and threats in her request for a protective order. She said that they stopped living together in December after what she said had been their worst year together.
In early 2010, she said he fired a gun into the ceiling and threatened to shoot her because she had been contemplating divorce again, according to the documents.
"He dragged me into the closet, pull his gun . and threaten me. I was afraid for my safety," an affidavit quotes her as saying.
Then in November, she said her husband slapped her face in front of their two children during an argument. She pretended to call 911 but intentionally misdialed because she didn't want him to get arrested, the documents state.
He then became so angry he dragged her into the kitchen and threatened her again with guns, according to Trini Do's account.
"He was so upset and went inside the room and gets all the guns out. If anyone show up at the house, he will shoot them . The kids saw that and they both frighten and cry so bad," Trini Do said in the affidavit.
The affidavit alleges other instances of threats and physical violence.
Although the court ordered Tan Do to stay away from the family, it withdrew the order in March after his wife's request.
"My husband promised to change and will work on our marriage for the kids. I hope that I am making the right decision," Trini Do said in a second affidavit.
The couple met in 1997 and married in 2000, she said. They had a 3-year-old girl and the boy who was celebrating his birthday at Forum Roller World.
Besides Trini and Tan Do, police identified those killed as Trini Do's sisters Lynn Ta, 16, and Michelle Ta, 28; her brother, Hien Ta, 21; and her sister-in-law, Thuy Nguyen, 25.
Ta's husband, Dylan Pham, told the television station that the estranged couple had been arguing in the days before the party.
"We do know he is high-temper - but nothing major. We didn't think he would do something like this," he said.
The shooting occurred around 7 p.m. Saturday during the party attended by about 30 friends and family. The rink was closed to the public at the time.
The owner of the roller rink told The Associated Press that he pushed some youngsters down and ushered them and employees into an office to hide. He was about 40 feet away when the shooting began.
"Kids were having fun and all of a sudden: `Bang! Bang! Bang!"' said Walt Hedrick, owner the Grand Prairie roller rink about 20 miles west of Dallas. "It was out of the clear blue. ... I didn't know what was going on."
On Sunday, people placed teddy bears outside the Forum Roller World doors and a sign with the message "God Bless the Prairie."
Hedrick said he decided to re-open the rink Sunday so that the business could continue to provide wholesome entertainment for the community.