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An 11-year-old girl who was kidnapped at gunpoint by her mother’s ex-boyfriend from a home in San Jose early Friday morning was sexually assaulted before officers found her and shot and killed her captor, police said today. The victim was located on Friday afternoon nearly 12 hours after her mother’s ex-boyfriend, 42-year-old Tri Truong Le, kidnapped her from a residence in the 2600 block of Taffy Drive, prompting a statewide Amber Alert.
Little was known about what happened to the girl in the span of time before police found her until today. At a news conference this afternoon, Deputy Chief Edgardo Garcia said the girl was sexually assaulted by Le. “We have a young female victim that was traumatized severely during this entire ordeal,” said Police Chief Chris Moore.
Before snatching the girl from her bedroom at about 1:20 a.m. on Friday, Le assaulted a family member and fired several shots inside the home.No one inside the house was struck by the gunfire, police said. Then at about 12:15 p.m., SWAT officers tracked Le to a complex in the 3400 block of Pistachio Drive where Le stood at a bedroom window with his left arm around the girl and a knife in his left hand, and began firing at the officers with a pistol in his right hand as they approached.
He continued even as police forced entry into the residence and during a confrontation between the officers and Le, Officer Mauricio Jimenez returned fire from his rifle. The girl managed to separate herself from Le’s grasp and Le was fatally struck, police said. The investigation later revealed that Le was firing blanks from a pistol that Moore said is “designed to look and function just as a firearm would be.
” “If he had a weapon that fired bullets, we would have had some injured officers, no doubt about it,” Garcia said. He said officers did not know that Le was firing blanks until after the confrontation and went into the apartment complex assuming he had weapons based on text messages that Le had sent to his ex-girlfriend “stating that he had guns, he knew the police had guns and he would be ready.
“Councilwoman Rose Herrera today lauded the more than 100 officers who were involved in the investigation. “Residents have emailed me saying how grateful they were for the way this was handled,” she said. “We have the best Police Department in the United States.” “In the face of gunfire coming straight at their faces, they understood what was at stake,” Moore said. “All in all, from the department’s standpoint, these officers are heroes.” Herrera called the violent kidnapping “a parent’s worst nightmare.
” Le and the girl’s mother had recently separated following a four-year relationship. At one point, all three lived together, Garcia said. Police said Le’s criminal history included domestic violence and driving under the influence. The domestic violence incidents involved someone Le was previously in a relationship with, as well as the girl’s mother. Police are investigating whether any involved the girl herself.
“We’re seeing a disturbing trend in the increase in domestic violence — violent domestic violence incidents” in the last couple of years, Moore said. The girl was taken to a hospital but has since been released. Moore said she has yet to be interviewed by investigators. “This is an investigation that is still active and ongoing,” Moore said. “There are still pieces to this puzzle that we do not have the answers to yet.”
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