Dads Against the Divorce Industry

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Lynch rescuer shot dead at BBQ
From correspondents in Long Beach, California
23Oct03


A MARINE who helped in the rescue of US Army Private Jessica Lynch in Iraq was shot dead at a family barbecue in California, just 12 days before he was to be discharged.

Lance Corporal Sok Khak Ung, 22, and a family friend, Vouthy Tho, 21, were killed on Monday in a garage at a Long Beach home by a gunman who fired six to eight shots before fleeing, police said.

Yesterday, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe offered a $US10,000 ($14,000) reward for information on the killings.

"I am outraged that someone would so cowardly gun down this brave soldier," Knabe said. "Ung served his country well, protecting our freedoms in the war against terrorism. His killers should be brought to justice."

Ung, a Cambodian-American combat engineer from San Francisco, was part of a "diversion force" that attacked the enemy to distract them while a special force unit went into the hospital to rescue Lynch on April 1, Camp Pendleton spokesman Bill Lisbon said yesterday.

Ung earned a Purple Heart medal after he was hit by shrapnel from a landmine later that month, Lisbon said. He returned from Iraq in July, stationed at Camp Pendleton, and was set to complete his four years of military service on October 31.

"This man had only 12 days left with the Marine Corps," Lisbon said. "It's sad to think he came back from the war to die in this country."

Tho, an aspiring rapper who was about to release an album, was shot once in the head, officials said. He was pronounced dead on Monday night after being hospitalised in critical condition, police spokesman Greg Schirmer said.

Police have not said whether they have a suspect in the shootings, and a motive remained unknown.

This report appears on news.com.au.

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