Michelle Ta, 28, a beautiful, joyous, bright and young woman known for her unending capacity to give to others, was one of six people killed Saturday when a man opened fire inside the Forum Roller World in Grand Prairie.
“I loved just everything about her. She was so kind, always putting other people ahead of herself,” said her husband, Dylan Pham.
Ta tried to protect her sister, Trini, who was married to Tan Do, the man who killed them and three other people.
“We didn’t think he would do anything like this,” said Pham.
Pham and Ta were in love. The two married June 26, 2010, and were just about to move into their new home.
“I didn’t know anything until around almost 10 O’clock. I had had a lot of missed calls, then I reached a friend. I didn’t believe it, and I didn’t want to believe in what he said either,” said Pham as he began to cry.
Ta was dedicated to her church, Vietnamese Martyrs in Arlington. She would dedicate hours of her weekends to teaching children 9 to 12 years old about the Bible and Vietnamese culture. She was a leader in the church’s Eucharistic Youth Society.
“She was my mentor,” said Simon Nguyen, who said he was honored to call her a friend for seven years. “We were in shock. I just talked to her last week. We had a party today, and I was going to call her to celebrate with us. But now she won’t ever be with us at a party anymore.”
Pham said she wasn’t even attending the family birthday party for her sister’s son Saturday night.
“She had just gone by [the roller rink] to pick up her mother and take her to the hospital,” said Dylan.
A family member had been ill.
“She was there at the wrong time," Pham said.
He said his sister-in-law’s husband was violent.
“We knew Trini and her husband argued a lot, like almost every other week,” said Pham. “Trini would come and stay a few days with her us and then go back. Sometimes they would be small fights, sometimes large. It became a pattern we got used to seeing.”
Pham said he felt Tan Do plotted out the shooting rampage on his family.
“All the ones that died are our family, and all the one that were injured were our family,” said Pham.
He and his wife met on a tennis court. He said he knew he would marry her the first time he met her. He said his wife was adored by co-workers at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she worked in finance at the Automation and Robotics Research Institute.
“Her boss loved her. He threw a big wedding celebration for us,” said Pham.