$100,000 fundraised by police officer for road rage victim's family
A website set up by a San Jose police officer to aid the family of a road rage victim has garnered more than $100,000 for the victim's family.
Officer Huan Nguyen created the site to aid the family of Phuoc Lam, who was killed May 6 in the San Jose's Little Saigon neighborhood.
Lam was driving with his wife, Dieu Huynh, when he had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting a Volkswagon Jetta that pulled out of a driveway in front of him. Lam exited his vehicle and exchanged words with the two men in the vehicle, and was gunned down by the passenger. The suspects have not been found.
Lam was the sole financial provider of his family and had two sons: Henry, 7, and Steven, 4. Henry is severely autistic, has seizures, and is non-vocal. When Officer Nguyen heard the story of Lam's death, he knew he had to help.
"I could see they were going to need help," Nguyen told the Associated Press. "It really, really got to me."
With the support of his police chief, Nguyen set up a website to solicit donations for the family. He expected to raise a few thousand dollars, but over $100,000 has poured in from across the globe.
National Center for Victims of Crime Executive Director Mai Fernandez said that it is rare for a law enforcement official to fundraise for crime victims.
"I've never heard of a police officer stepping in like this," she told AP, "this sounds like a really special person. When there's a tragedy out there, there are a lot of heroes who step up. It's amazing to see the outpouring of generosity of the public. Humankind really does care about each other."
Nguyen said his kind gesture was the least he could do.
"My job is to help others," he said. "No amount of money can replace their dad, but this can help those boys as they grow up."
Donations for the family can be made at http://youcaring.com/sanjose15homicide, and deposits can be made to Wells Fargo Bank, account number 1440267027.