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Timeline of a tragedy: New details released in Buford standoff | News

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Timeline of a tragedy: New details released in Buford standoff


LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Gwinnett Police released more details Thursday on a standoff that ended with the suspect and his young child dead.

Police said 2-year-old Phillip Nguyen died after being shot by his father, 43-year-old Thy Anh Ho, after a nearly 20-hour standoff at a Gwinnett County home on Wednesday. The suspect died after allegedly shooting himself when SWAT members entered the room, according to police.

The full event list is provided below:

  • Jan 5th 9:48 p.m. GCPD called to 1870 Beyers Landing Drive in Buford in reference to domestic dispute between a male and female
  • The caller was not at the scene and was the 20yo daughter of the female involved in the dispute
  • The daughter said that her mother’s boyfriend was holding her and her 15yo brother inside the home at gunpoint and threatening to shoot everyone and commit suicide
  • The daughter was receiving information from her brother who was inside the house
  • 10:03 p.m. the first two officers arrived at the location and began gathering information from the daughter who was outside with several friends
  • 10:06 p.m. officer’s learned firsthand from the daughter that a male was holding a handgun to a child’s head inside the house and refusing to put the child and gun down
  • The male was also stating that he was ready to die tonight
  • Numerous officers began arriving at the location and surrounding the house
  • 10:17 p.m. the shift commander activated the Swat team
  • 10:27 p.m. officer at the scene spoke to mom who did not want to leave the house

  • 10:30 p.m. officer at the scene spoke to the suspect on the phone and learned his name was Thy Ho
  • Suspect claimed that he and his wife were about to come outside and he will have his hands up
  • 10:32 p.m. officer lost contact with the suspect and attempted calling him back but received continuous voicemail
  • 10:34 p.m. the first negotiator arrived at the scene and assumed control over negotiations
  • 10:36 p.m. the first Swat officer arrived at the scene and began tactical assessment

AUDIO FILE | Listen to the first 911 call

  • 10:38 p.m. officers learned that there were multiple cameras on the house that covered various angles and could be monitored from any mobile device
  • 10:47 p.m. brother, sister, and her friends were secured at the command post
  • 10:48 p.m. mother came out of the house and was secured by Swat
  • At that point only the suspect, Thy Ho and his son, Phillip Nguyen were inside house
  • Throughout the standoff negotiators spoke to the suspect numerous times over the phone and via text, the calls were very short with limited dialogue
  • During those brief dialogues he requested to speak to his girlfriend
  • Those requests were not granted due to the training and experience of negotiators
  • Generally direct third party negotiations are avoided especially in hostage situations for fear of the suspect making a last statements to a loved one
  • At 3 a.m. the suspects parents were called to the scene

  • Negotiators told the suspect when the parents arrived in hopes that he would surrender
  • At 4:06 a.m. the suspect’s parents received a text picture of the suspect and child lying in the bed. In the photo the child was asleep
  • The suspect text his parents multiple times and attempted to call his girlfriend throughout the night
  • Overnight Gwinnett Police Swat had a window of opportunity and entered the interior of the house from the garage
  • 6:00 a.m. due to the frigid temperatures and duration of the standoff, the decision was made to employ mutual aid and request the DeKalb Police Swat team
  • 10:42 a.m. DeKalb Police Swat began slowly relieving Gwinnett Swat and assuming tactical control and negotiations

AUDIO FILE | Listen to 2nd 911 call


  • 11:16 a.m. the suspect is observed with a handgun and holding the child
  • 11:17 a.m. the suspect is heard moving a dresser behind the master bedroom door to fortify his position
  • 3:13 p.m. negotiators established verbal contact with the suspect from inside the house
  • 3:15 p.m. suspect appeared agitated and began speaking in his native language
  • 3:39 p.m. the suspect apologized to the officers as they are requesting that he come to the door
  • 3:44 p.m. negotiators hear the child making noise and the suspect asks for food
  • 3:45 p.m. negotiators establish contact with the suspect over the phone and he asked for cigarettes
  • 3:48 p.m. negotiators lose contact with the suspect over the phone
  • 4:34 p.m. one shot is fired through the master bedroom door towards tactical officers.
  • Seconds later, two additional shots are fired by the suspect that is when he and the child are shot
  • Tactical officers immediately enter the master bedroom where they find the suspect and child suffering from gunshot wounds
  • Both were immediately evacuated from the scene.
  • The child was flown by helicopter to Egleston hospital and the suspect was transported by ambulance to Gwinnett Medical Center


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