An Upper Makefield mother allegedly shot her two children in the head early Monday morning while they were in their beds, before attempting to kill her neighbor with a handgun, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said Monday at a press conference.
Trinh T. Nguyen, 38, was taken into custody at approximately 11:30 a.m., when she was found in a Toyota minivan in the parking lot of the United Methodist Church in Washington Crossing. She was taken to St. Mary Medical Center, authorities said, because she appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
She has since been medically cleared and charged with three counts of attempted homicide and one count of possession of an instrument of crime, Weintraub said.
While the two boys, ages 9 and 13 were found alive, they did not survive, despite heroic efforts by law enforcement. They were placed on life support, awaiting donation of their organs, said the district attorney.
“Both children will give the gift of life to others as their organs will be transplanted; once that occurs we will update these charges to two counts of homicide,” a visibly shaken Weintraub said.
The third victim, Nguyen’s neighbor at the 119 Timber Ridge Road home, was Gianni Melchiondo. According to authorities, Nguyen handed the 22-year-old a box of photos and asked him to give them to her ex-husband, with whom he worked.
After the man put the box down and turned around to face Nguyen, she aimed a black revolver at his head and pulled the trigger twice. The gun did not fire and Melchiondo then wrapped Nguyen in his arms and disarmed her. She fled the scene in the 2018 minivan and police were called.
When police were told Nguyen had two children, an officer and a neighbor entered the house, where they found the wounded boys, each in their own bed; each in their own bedroom. The boys were rushed to St. Mary Medical Center.
Both were Council Rock School District students. Officials there issued a statement expressing sympathy. “When these types of tragic events occur in our community, it’s important that we pull together to support each other,” said Acting Superintendent of Schools Susan Elliot in a letter to district parents Monday night. “I humbly ask you to keep the family, our students, our staff and our community in your thoughts and prayers.”
According to a published report, Nguyen was ordered to leave the home by May 3 for failure to pay more than $11,000 in back rent. She had shared the house with her now ex-husband, Ed Tini, since 2012, until last June when Tini moved out, the paper said. Nguyen’s lease was ended in September, according to the report. Tini’s sister, Corinna Tini-Melchiondo, lived in the other half of the house, which she owned.