A man walked in and opened fire at one such Hmong New Year's celebration in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on October 12th, Saturday night, injuring five people of the 400 there, local police said.
Two Hmong celebrating (between 30-60) were hit in the upper body, while the other three were struck in the arm and leg, said Tulsa Police Captain Mike Williams. One person probably will lose the use of the lower leg.
Nhia Vang, 75, told reporters that the gunman opened fire six feet away from him after a toast. One bullet went through his shirt, but he was uninjured – although the police took the garment as evidence, the Tulsa World reported.
Police believe the passenger, 19-year-old Ming Mee, was the shooter. Both he and the driver, 21-year-old Boon Mee, were arrested. A 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun was recovered.
In the 1960s and 1970s, many Hmong were secretly recruited by the American CIA to fight against communism during the Vietnam War. After American armed forces pulled out of Vietnam, a communist regime took over in Laos, and ordered the prosecution and re-education of all those who had fought against its cause during the war. Whilst many Hmong are still left in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and China (which houses one of the biggest Hmong populations in the world, 5 million), since 1975 many Hmong have fled Laos in fear of persecution, coming to the USA, as well as other Western countries.
A 21-year-old Marrico McGuire was transported to a Tulsa hospital and was later pronounced dead at the hospital as a result of his injuries. A second unidentified victim has since died. This individual's name online has been reported to be "Dave Muse."