LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Family of Shonchy Thaopraseuth, 22, of San Bernardino insist he was a great guy with lots of friends.

They have no idea how or why he ended up carjacking at least two drivers Thursday. Or why he took police on a pursuit that ended with him pointing a weapon at three people at a gas station in Koreatown and the LAPD emptying as many as 30 rounds into him.

Thaopraseuth’s sister talked to KCAL9 and CBS2 reporter Greg Mills.

Through tears she said police shooting her brother was unnecessary.”They could have waited till he got out of the car. I apologize for what he did … to those people. And no one got hurt. Thank God.”

The family was actually watching KCAL9 during the pursuit and deadly confrontation. They told Mills they had no idea it was their son, their brother who was behind the wheel of the carjacked car. They watched, along with a live KCAL9 audience, when police shot and killed their loved one.

Police say Thaopraseuth carjacked two vehicles at gunpoint Thursday evening. And they say he was also threatening at least three people at the gas station with his .38 revolver.

The older sister said her brother suffered from depression, triggered by something several years ago that they aren’t even totally sure about.

“He’s not bad at all. I don’t know what happened. He’s not bad.” said Puong Ma, the sister. “My mom!  The whole family — we’re like ‘what the h—.  Not my brother. No one expects anything like this from my brother. No one.”

The family says they were not aware Thaopraseuth had a gun. They’re all stunned. A disbelieving Ma said, “It hurts. I still don’t believe. It’s not real. But you’re standing next to me and it doesn’t feel real. My brother was just 22. He just had a birthday last month.”

Comments (53)
  1. BoPop says:

    Who cares what the family says?

    1. Mike says:

      Feel tough hiding behind a computer screen don’t you?

      1. wg//af says:

        So where were are you puS$y d!cklips? Still having your daddy’s balls up your ass do all the talking.

        Hey 1stman, we all know it’s you hijacking screen names to say something stupid since you started using one of my screen names “up//yours.” Your limp d!ck fell off when I called you out to show your puS$y ass at a Kelly Thomas rally,chickensh!t no-show dumbf**k.
        So show your puS$y ass by where they had the Kelly Thomas rally. There is a sculpture that looks like a big check mark in front be there at 1:00p 02/22, if your $lut mama can sew your limp d!ck back on

      2. Lion says:

        Cali is going down first. Look at how incredibly stupid this is. Look at the state of the economy in California, flooded with illegal immigrants who have no prospects or desire to really be American, really learn English and really move up in society.

        We can’t find jobs, we have over 8% unemployment and we allow these third world midget filthy uncultured violent animals run rampant. They disrespect our laws so we erase or ignore our laws to accommodate them.

        Our immigration policy should be the same as Mexico’s, look at what the Mexicans do to the Nicaraguans. The beat, tortured, killed, jailed and deported. And then you liberal morons want to invite everyone with open arm when there isn’t even enough pie left to go around for Americans.

        An economic collapse is going to happen very soon and then we’ll get back to common sense laws. Vigilante justice. My $0.02.




      1. crystalangel336 says:

        Better yet, don’t commit a felony.

    3. wobbles says:

      I agree. Who cares what they say. Whatever he was, he made decisions that made him end his life as a criminal. I bet Hitler’s family loved him too, and Stalin, and Pol Pot. It doesn’t mean they weren’t still monsters.

    4. GO BLOWAPAIR says:


  2. Dan Simons says:

    Yes, the police did have to shoot him. He was ARMED and had a BLATANT disregard for human life by taking two cars at GUN POINT. That gun could have gone off at any time. Then, in the gas station, he pointed his gun into the store. He could have fired. Thats why cops fired, to protect the innocent.

    I’m sorry for your loss, but the shooting was justified.

    1. Country Rocker says:

      Maybe his family will have a car wash to help pay for his funeral expenses.

      1. country singer says:

        that was a dumb ass comment you ignorant ass hole!!!!!

  3. PatricParamedic says:

    BoPop –

    Well aren’t you the decent American.

  4. FFL says:

    Absolutely, the shooting was justified. Waving a gun at police will ALWAYS get a negative reaction from them! Somehow the family will ALWAYS say, “he was a good guy” and “we never figured he would do something like this..” I bet somehow drugs and/or alcohol will have played a factor..

  5. PatricParamedic says:

    FFL –

    You are 100% right.

  6. robert says:

    really how was the gun gonna go off if there was never a gun . they did not give him a chance to get out of the car

    1. Mike says:

      There is no need to allow him to get out of the car. His actions before and during the pursuit are enough for the police officers to take such action if they feel threatened.

      1. robert says:

        really lets just say one day your car is mistaken for a vehicle that has been used in a murder .and they pulled you over your saying its ok for them to shoot 60 rounds into your car just cause they got the report that your armed and dangerous . they are suppose to order you out of the car and try to arrest you not just murder you on live tv

      2. wobbles says:

        after you lead them on a chase? come on, be real. his actions were hardly innocent.

      3. GROWAPAIR says:


        You’re a puS$y dumbf**k talking with your daddy’s balls up your aS$.

      4. mike says:

        I can’t even get a job.That’s because that aS$hole lawyer Robert Hale from Hale and Nguyen in Brea couldn’t help me with my case. Now I’m a bitter aS$puck that has a beef with law enforcement and everybody on the internet. I used multiple screen names like [GROW..APAIR], [wg//af], [up//yours], [Mike in San Diego], [Mike in Upland], [1stman] and [kma] so no one can track me down. I challenge people to meet me in front of the Fullerton P.D. station for my protection. I’m such a puS$y dumbf**k with nothing to say I post to myself.

        I’ll use your screen name next, puS$y d!cklips

        Pay attention to me when I hijack screen names to show I’m a puS$y dumbf**k loser

      5. Mike says:

        wg//af, GROWAPAIR (a.k.a. mike)

        Sure you will, you had two chances to meet me, and you had excuses for both. I even told you i would drive the 100 mile round trip (another excuse) and still you coudn’t get it together. You’re one excuse after an another, just like all of your posts “same ol thing.”
        I hope those cops are enjoying their paid vacations, even the poilce are innocent until proven guilty. So hopefully, they can take a little more out of your welfare check, so those cops can stay on paid vacation for a few more days.

    2. AT says:

      Never was a gun? Did you read the story or see any of the surveillance videos? He definitely had a gun, and he pointed it at people.
      Are the police supposed to wait for him to get out of the car…. after he shoots people?

    3. Freddie says:

      “there was never a gun”…huh?, u must’ve been watching a completely different news story. “they did not give him a chance to get out of the car”…huh?, it is obvious he tried to shoot at the police which prompted them to unload on him.

  7. robert says:


    1. wobbles says:

      so what do you have to say to those innnocent people he carjacked, and those he waved a gun around at?

      1. robert says:


      2. mike says:

        LOL, see how I hijack screen names to show I’m a puS$y dumbf**k, and you fell for it dumbsh!t

    2. Jay Markowitz says:

      Sorry about your loss. Hope the truth comes out as to what motivated him to take such drastic actions and your family can heal.

      Please don’t let your other family members turn this into a ‘police action’ issue. Many cops have families that want them to come home safely, just like your family. They are not superheroes. They are mostly average pay earning public servants. Of course there are bad cops, but that is not the issue here.

  8. JM says:

    I agree the officers did what they had to do. Don’t know about the 30 rounds though. That’s a little overkill in my book.. But let’s not be heartless, His sister is merely crying out for the loss of her brother. She was remorseful and apologized for her brothers actions. In a month, we won’t even give this a second thought. She’ll have a lifetime of unanswered questions and pain….

    1. wobbles says:

      from five or six cops that averages 5-6 rounds apiece. The news makes it sound like one guy was just firning away and reloding and firing some more. The truth is you are looking at less than 2 seconds of gunfire from several shooters.

    2. duh says:

      When cops need to defend themselves, or the public, they are trained to shoot to incapacitate, NOT MERELY WOUND. A wounded suspect can still aim a weapon and pull the trigger. 30 rounds total, from multiple shooters, isn’t excessive at all. No one is able to count the number of rounds while in the heat of the moment. That can only be done after the fact. Great job by the cops. Bad choices by the suspect. We move on…

      1. JM says:

        So what you are really saying is that it takes 30 rounds to incapacitate a subject right. Cops are profesionally trained, there is no such thing as heat of the moment. Heat of the moment can get innocent people killed, like that man that dove for cover once they started shooting. Im sure you’ve heard of ricochet. While of course he wasn’t shot,he wasnt no more than i’d say 8-12 feet away. And if it takes 5-6 profesionally trained officers to shoot 5-6 rounds a piece in order to down 1 subject. Well quite frankly thats a little over kill in my book.

    3. wobbles says:

      And how many gunfight shave you been in? People don’t just auomatically stop and rop or be blown 15 feet back like on TV, which is probaby as close to dnager as you’ve ever been.

  9. FED UP says:

    This is so tragic. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I saw the shooting on tv and then find out it was a family member. I feel for the family because they loved him and because he was so young and just lost it.

  10. anonymous says:

    it’s time for Shonchy Thaopraseuth’s family to SUE the police!! thats right… thats what americans are best at. SUING!

  11. anonymous says:

    Shonchy Thaopraseuth’s family will probably sue KCAL9 for the live murder of a loved one and start putting an end to live car chases or impose a 5 second tape delay of live feeds LOL

    1. Great guy ...with a gun? says:

      Thats what you want. But its not going to happen. Crime does not pay and KIDS, society that has a criminal th_ug nature to them, need to see what they are getting themselves into.

  12. billybob says:


    You’re the next Big Winner on the Sue the Cops and City (and anyone else even remotely involved — maybe that Korean guy, for instance), brought to you by The Lawyer Who’s Sure to Call Before The Body Reaches Room Temperature!!

  13. Sleepy Hollow says:

    Everyone who decides to steal a car, by pointing a gun at the driver of the car, has seen other young men die when police bring closure to this type of violent crime. The carjacker knows the risk involved. And when they point a deadly weapon at a victim, as in this case (and in all the examples we all see on television) they can not be ignorant of the fact that they have committed a crime, and that police will respond, and that police have a right to not only defend and protect themselves, but they are responsible for ensuring that innocent bystanders are not harmed.

    There is no “perfect” way to resolve a crime like this, but if a person demonstrates a propensity for violence as Shonchy Thaopraseuth did in the surveillance video, police are obligated to act swiftly.

    The other sad outcome here are the insults directed from one poster to the other and the vile comments directed to the family of this 22 year old man.

    We should all be grateful that no law enforcement officer or bystander wasn’t injured and the lesson learned here, “Police must and will use deadly force to prevent criminals from harming or killing other citizens.” And the comment from family members is understandable “he wasn’t that bad of a guy” might have been true in the past, but when they are on video like this, indeed, he was not only a “bad guy” but someone who was willing to kill someone else in order to commit a crime.

  14. MIKE says:

    i own guns, but in keep them indoors.

  15. samson says:

    It’s a sad day when a life is taken no matter what the situation. life is precious and the reporter asking how it feels is cruel to say the least

  16. Karen says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I can not imagine how painful it must be. I also knew, when I first heard the story, that your brother pulled a gun. In this city, you pull a gun, you are shot dead, particularly if you point that gun at innocent people or the police. Why get them involved? That is why your brother is dead. The police do not shoot people without a good reason. I wish your brother did not pull the gun because he would be alive.

  17. SB909 says:

    Yall can talk all that, but boy(shonchy) was a good dude, this was so shocking when i found out it was him. this is something he would never do but he did. i grew up wit him. i know him and he was always chill. watching the video hurt. it was too much to see my boy go down like that. Rip Boy(shonchy)

    1. Realist says:

      Maybe the “AZB” / Asian Boys Gang tattoo on his head, neck and arms might have been a clue ? It’s always a “Good” boy that commits crimes and terrorizes the law abiding citizen’s.

  18. Realist says:

    Maybe the “AZB” / Asian Boys Gang tattoo on his head, neck and arms might have been a clue ? It’s always a “Good” boy that commits crimes and terrorizes the law abiding citizen’s.

  19. Great guy ...with a gun? says:

    He was a great guy with lots of friends and had a GUN. Did one of those “friends” hook him up with a gun?

    Don’t try to blame it on some mental issue, or depression… please.

    These days, HIDDEN th_ug-life is very prevalent. Kids these days hide this other criminal lifestyle, then they live it while parents, families just think he’s a great guy.


  20. truthnotlie says:

    You guys are bunch f-in idiots. So quick to judge, truth will come out.

  21. truthnotlie says:

    You guys are bunch of f-in idiots. So quick to judge, truth will come out.

  22. Just sayin says:

    It’s really none of anyones business except for the people involved like the family of the police and the boys family.. why dont you all find some business and let things be. Im pretty sure that the family has suffered enough and honestly 30 rounds was way too much.. but if the police are innocent like some ppl think then what the heck they will be back on duty soon.. nobody is perfect ok.Only God can judge.

  23. Trey says:

    Should have still been hung from a light pole as a carjacking thief and then his body deported. Criminal action deserve criminal attention!

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