It’s been nearly two years since a deadly shooting spree that started in Kaimuki ended with an arrest on the H-1 Freeway in Aiea.
On Monday, victims and their families came face-to-face with the man accused of multiple counts of murder, attempted murder, and drug charges.
Honolulu Police say Toby Stangel shot and killed 54-year-old Tammy Nguyen while she sat in her car on the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Kapahulu Avenue.
He then drove on the freeway and allegedly shot two people near the Houghtailing off-ramp.
Then, police say Stangel fired shots at Honolulu Police officers, making a traffic stop on the Moanalua Freeway.
Stangel was eventually stopped and arrested near the Kaamilo overpass.
Stangel’s lawyer admits his client was the shooter, but says he’s still innocent under the law.
“The state has more to do than just prove that these facts occurred. In this particular case, the state must also prove a state of mind element for some of these offenses,” defense attorney John Schum said.
They must prove that Stangel knowingly and intentionally committed murder.
Cindy Nguyen remembers the terrifying moments of June 3, 2011.
“At first I didn’t know what it was. And then I heard the sound and I kind of ducked onto the floor and crouched down. And then I saw my mom kind of jerk back and like her head sort of slowly fell,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen says everything happened really fast in those early morning hours and that she was gripped with fear.
“Then I waited there because I was sure he saw me. So, I thought he would come back and try and kill me too. So, I waited and then I heard the car screech away,” Nguyen said.
What she remembers is heart breaking. She heard a dripping noise and thought the family van would explode.
“I leaned over to open my mom’s door, that’s when I realized the dripping noise was from the blood. So that is when I tried to help her,” Nguyen said.
Tammy Nguyen had 10 kids. They fought back tears listening to their youngest sibling recall that night.
Cindy was just 16 when her mom was murdered. She also fought back tears remembering her mom’s last moments.
“It was like gasping, or snoring, like hard, lie she as trying really hard to,” Nguyen said.
When asked if she called for her mom…
“Yes,” Nguyen said.
If her mom responded?
“No,” Nguyen said.
When asked if she could identify the man who shot and killed her mother, Cindy pointed out Toby Stangel.
If convicted of the numerous murder and attempted-murder charges, Stangel would get life in prison without the possibility of parole.