ARLINGTON — If ever a man had reason to cry, it's Hoi Ta.
He let the tears fall as he sat in an Arlington funeral home on Tuesday morning, recalling the horrors of Saturday night as he watched his son-in-law shoot five of his children and his wife.
Three daughters and a son died, as did a daughter-in-law.
The gunman, Tan Do, had finally let loose his rage at his wife, Trini, and the rest of her family before killing himself.
A bullet grazed Hoi Ta. Tarrant County commissioner Andy Nguyen translated for Hoi Ta.
"He has no choice but to be strong and march forward, because his grandchildren are depending on him," Nguyen said.
The gunfire erupted at the 11th birthday party for Hoi Ta's grandson at a Grand Prairie roller rink.
"He stated the 11-year-old boy witnessed what happened. He held on to his mother and begged his father not to kill his mother," Mr. Ta said through the translator.
Family members say they tried for years to protect Trini from Tan Do's temper.
Trini's 24-year-old brother lost 4 siblings.
"My sister and brother were everything to me," said Trung Ta. "Each time I go home I feel like my family has been broken in half. The half ones left just to suffer for them."
The brothers and sisters had planned to move into a house and bring their parents from Arkansas, completing their American dream.
They say the house will go back to the bank.
Hoi Ta was wounded twice fighting for the U.S. backed army in South Vietnam. After the war, he served six years in a communist labor camp.
He said that crucible gives him strength to fulfill his daughter's dying wish.
Said Andy Nguyen: "Trini Do's last word to her mother, to his (Hoi Ta's) wife, were for them to raise the two children on her behalf."
The Vietnamese American Community of Tarrant County is setting up a trust fund for Trini Ta Do's 10 year-old-son and 4-year-old daughter. Nguyen said checks can be sent to:
Vietnamese American Community of Tarrant County
PO Box 183821
Arlington, TX 76096
The words "trust fund" should be written on the memo line.