On April 4, 1991 after failing to rob a store, four Vietnamese refugees took hostages at an electronics store called “Good Guys!” located near the Florin Mall in Sacramento, California. The hostage crisis resulted in six deaths – three hostages and three of the four hostage-takers. The crisis remains the largest hostage situation in the history of the USA. Because of prompt response by the media, the crises was broadcast live as it was unfolding. The video of the live broadcast is at the end of the post.
During the first two hours of the standoff, the authorities tried to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the hostage crisis. The hostage-takers however seemed divided and continued changing their demands. Part of it was a 50 troop military helicopter to transport them to Thailand cause where else would criminals want to go than to the safe haven for all miscreants.
One of the hostage-takers who nicknamed himself Thai surrendered to the police and attempted to continue the negotiation process with the suspects at Good Guys from the outside. The situation went downhill after the phone lines died and a hostage-taker nicknamed Number One took charge.
A girl seen in the video outside of the store with hands tied behind her back and a speaker wire tethered to her was sent to retrieve a bulletproof vest. Glass pane shattered behind her from a sniper round but sniper missed the target. That caused a lot of confusion and prompted the hostage takers to fire at bound hostages. Later, an SED officer tipped on the speaker wire from the woman who had been rescued in the meantime and fell.
The crisis ended with three hostages shot dead and eleven wounded. Three hostage takers were neutralized, the one who surrendered himself to the cops was sentenced to 49 consecutive life terms in prison. He’s currently serving his life sentences at the California State Prison in Lancaster.
Identities of Hostage Takers
- Loi Khac Nguyen, 21
- Pham Khac Nguyen, 19
- Long Khac Nguyen, 17
- Cuong Tran, 17
All three Nguyens were brothers. The oldest of the four – Loi Khac Nguyen is the guy who called himself Thai, he’s the one in prison. The youngest of the Nguyen brothers – Long Khac Nguyen was the one who called himself “Number One”.
Sacramento Hostage Crisis Video
The crisis was broadcast live as it was unfolding. What a way to thank the host country for taking you in as a refugee. These guys were probably provided accommodation and other necessities normal people have to work hard for but that just wasn’t good enough for them: