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Man Fatally Shoots Four Family Members, Kills A Fifth By Burning Down Home

A Pennsylvania man fatally shot four of his family members and set fire to their family home, killing another relative trapped inside, prosecutors said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Canh Le, 43, is accused of fatally shooting his younger brother Xuong Le, 40, along with Le’s wife Britni McLaughlin-Le, 37, and the couple’s two children, Natalya, 17, and Nakayla, 13, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said, citing medical examiners.

The couple’s youngest child, Xavier, 10, was also killed after Canh Le set the home on fire, he said. The 10-year-old’s cause of death was determined to be from smoke inhalation.

Britni McLaughlin-Le and Xuoug Le in a photo from 2018, and their three children in 2019, via Facebook.
Britni McLaughlin-Le and Xuoug Le in a photo from 2018, and their three children in 2019, via Facebook. Facebook

Stollsteimer described the incident as “an absolute, unmitigated tragedy for everybody in this community.”

He said the incident began that afternoon when Canh Le got into a verbal argument with his niece, Nakayla, and left to retrieve a gun from his bedroom on the second floor. It’s unclear what the argument was about, Stollsteimer said.

“Everybody wants to know why. I don’t think we will ever get an answer. Canh Le took that answer to his grave,” Stollsteimer said.

When the uncle returned, he shot his brother, sister-in-law and their two older children,Stollsteimer said.

According to Stollsteimer, Canh Le’s father, who also lived in the home, went outside and called police during the incident. Gunfire could be heard in the background of the 911 call.

When police responded to the home, they were met with gunfire from Canh Le, who was shooting at officers from the third floor, Stollsteimer said. Two officers were injured.

Canh Le then set the home on fire before turning his gun on himself, he said.

Parents of gunman Canh Le speaking with Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer
Parents of gunman Canh Le speaking with Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer Delaware County District Attorney's Office

Both of Canh Le’s parents survived the incident, and Stollsteimer described them as being “in shock.”

“Everything that they had in this world was being destroyed,” he said. “My understanding is they came from South Vietnam after the fall of the South Vietnamese government, so they came here as refugees to build a new life and they did so in a beautiful community. And in one fell swoop, for some unanswerable reason, everything that they held dear is now gone.”

According to a GoFundMe set up by community members to help support Britni McLaughlin-Le’s side of the family, she and her husband “were happily married for 17 years.”

The fundraiser described the couple as “devoted parents.”

“Xuong was a true gentle soul. A great husband, father and friend, quick with a joke, and loved the latest tech,” the fundraiser read. “His same consistency, loyalty, and devotion to his family was always made available to anyone in need.”

The GoFundMe also described McLaughlin-Le as “a real-life superwoman, who prioritized her family.”

“She could solve any problem, was always there to help a friend, and would do anything to make sure her children and family had what they wanted or needed. She was a beautiful person inside and out.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org for mental health support. Additionally, you can find local mental health and crisis resources at dontcallthepolice.com. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

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