GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - The owner of a Texas skating rink said yesterday that he pushed children out of harm’s way when a parent suddenly opened fire on his estranged wife and her relatives at their son’s birthday party.
The Saturday night shootings lasted just moments, said Walt Hedrick, Forum Roller World owner. Six were killed, including the gunman, who shot himself.
“Kids were having fun and all of a sudden: Bang! Bang! Bang!’’ Hedrick said. “It was out of the clear blue. . . . I didn’t know what was going on.’’
The gunman, whose son was celebrating his 11th birthday, ordered the children to leave the snack area before he began shooting, said Grand Prairie detective John Brimmer.
No children were killed, but four people were wounded in addition to the adults who died, he said.
Police said Tan Do, 35, of Grand Prairie and his wife were having ongoing marriage problems that investigators believe led to the shootings about 7 p.m. Saturday at the skating rink in Grand Prairie.
Some people at nearby businesses said they watched as some adults and children spilled from the rink in horror.
Do’s son and his other child are safe and with other relatives, Brimmer said.
Police identified those killed as Do’s estranged wife, Trini Do, 29, of Grand Prairie; her sisters Lynn Ta, 16, and Michelle Ta, 28; her brother, Hien Ta, 21; and her sister-in-law, Thuy Nguyen, 25.