Walt Hedrick, who opened the Forum Roller World 35 years ago, recalls the night six people died at his roller rink.
Six people were killed and four wounded Saturday night when a man pulled out a gun during his son's birthday party at a Grand Prairie skating rink and opened fire on his estranged wife and other family members, police say.
The gunman, Tan Do, 35, and his estranged wife Trini Do, 29, had rented out Forum Roller World and were hosting a private birthday party for one of their two children when they got in an argument.
Do ordered the children to leave the party, and then after they ran and hid, he opened fire, Det. John Brimmer, with the Grand Prairie police said. Do's wife was killed along with her two sisters, Lynn Ta, 16, and Michelle Ta, 28; her brother, Hien Ta, 21; and her sister-in-law, Thuy Nguyen, 25.
Tan Do died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
“The couple had been involved in ongoing marital problems and it is believed that this led to the shooting,” according to a police news release issued Sunday morning.
"The dad got distraught. And just out of nowhere, bang, bang, bang! It was just so quick and everything. There was nothing that could be done. It looked like he knew who he was looking for to shoot," said Walt Hedrick, owner of the roller rink. "I'm sorry that something like this had to happen anywhere. The families and friends of all the people that are not with us anymore. My prayers are with them."
The Do’s two children were not hurt and are staying with family members, police said.
Sen Nguyen, the father of two children who attended the party, said the gathering was to celebrate the 11th birthday of Do’s son.
"He (Tan Do) was a friendly guy," said Nguyen. "I don't believe it happened like this. He was a family man."
Nguyen said his 12-year-old daughter called him soon after the shooting.
"She got scared," he said. "She was crying. It's terrible. We just pray for the victims."
The names and conditions of the survivors has not yet been released.
Hedrick, who was in the snack bar when the shooting started, said he scrambled to get his employees out of harm's way, but that Do was never aiming at them. He said he usually has security when his rink is open to the public, but since the Do family had rented out the rink for a private party, no security guards were there.
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NBC 5's Frank Heinz, Julie Tam and Ashanti Blaize contributed to this report.