Man who allegedly shot son was ‘just upset’ with wife

Phong Nguyen told police he became so “upset” with his wife during an argument Sunday night that he grabbed a gun and began to fire aimlessly. In the process, he shot his 5-year-old son in the leg and side when bullets pierced a wall in the couple’s New Orleans East home, police allege in court documents.

Nguyen, 34, faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, second-degree cruelty to juveniles and aggravated assault.

After Nguyen and his wife got into an argument at their home in the 4700 block of Sherwood Drive about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, he grabbed a Glock 27 semi-automatic piston and began to fire, according to court documents. At least two bullets went through a wall and struck the couple’s son in the right leg and lower left side.

Police did not say what the two were arguing about, and attempts Monday to contact Nguyen or his wife were unsuccessful.

Police were called to the home to investigate a report of a shooting at about 7:40 p.m. While on the way there, a dispatcher told officers that the person who called 911 and the victim had driven to Read Boulevard and Chef Menteur Highway to try to find a hospital.

Officers found Nguyen, his wife and his son inside a white sport utility vehicle pulled over on the side of the road.

When officers asked Nguyen’s wife how the boy was injured, she replied, “We just got into an argument, and he just shot,” according to court documents.

“I was just upset,” Nguyen said.

Police then took him into custody. Officers who went to the couple’s home said they found the Glock on a table in the foyer and saw several bullet holes in a wall that separated a bedroom and the living room, according to court documents.

Blood stains were found on the sofa in the living room.

While the boy was treated at Interim LSU Public Hospital, Nguyen was tested for gunshot residue. That test came back positive, and he was booked into Orleans Parish Prison.

He was released by Monday afternoon on $80,000 bail for all three charges, according to Orleans Parish Criminal District Court records.

Magistrate Judge Gerard Hansen issued a stay-away order for Nguyen.

Robert Hjortsberg, Nguyen’s attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.