Prosecutor outlines details of jewelry store killings

(BCN)

A prosecutor today outlined the gory details of how an Antioch man allegedly killed two women and critically injured a man at a San Francisco jewelry store last Friday.

Barry White, 23, shot and stabbed the victims at about 2 p.m. Friday at Victoga Inc., a jewelry store inside the San Francisco GiftCenter & JewelryMart at 888 Brannan St. in the city’s South of Market neighborhood, police said.

White made his initial appearance in San Francisco Superior Court today but had his arraignment delayed until next week because of a legal dispute over who will represent him.

While arguing in court for White to be held in custody without bail, Assistant District Attorney Scot Clark provided the brutal details about what allegedly occurred in the jewelry store on Friday afternoon.

Lina Lim, 51, of Daly City, and Khin Min, 35, of San Francisco, were killed in the attack while the store’s owner, Vic Hung, remains in critical condition at a hospital.

Clark said the incident began as a dispute over a piece of jewelry White had purchased that “didn’t have as many grams of the precious metal as it was supposed to.”

The dispute was over a possible price adjustment of less than $300, he said.

Clark said three different surveillance cameras in the store show the attack in “unusually high quality.”

“This will not prove to be a whodunit,” he said.

Clark said after waiting for all other customers to leave the store, White approached the counter with a revolver and shot Hung three times at nearly point-blank range, then fired at Lim once.

White then headed toward the exit of the store, where Min was standing and “in a panic, ran toward Mr. White instead of out the door,” Clark said.

The prosecutor said White shot Min, then “viciously cut her from ear to ear” with a folding knife.

“You can see the frustration when she realizes she’s going to die,” he said.

Clark said White then returned to the other two victims and attacked them with the knife, slashing Hung in the face and “nearly decapitating” Lim.

After reloading his revolver, White left the jewelry store covered in blood and encountered officers who had responded to a report of shots fired, Clark said.

He shot at the officers but missed, then ran to the nearby Dos Amigos Mexican restaurant and continued firing until surrendering after he ran out of ammunition, according to police.

No officers were injured in the incident and police did not return fire on White, who was taken to a hospital to be briefly treated for superficial wounds to his hands.

White faces two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder of the store employee, six counts of attempted murder on the police officers, six counts of assault on police officers

with a firearm and one count of possession of an illegal assault rifle, prosecutors said.

The illegal rifle was found in White’s car, which was parked nearby, police said.

Clark said White “conducted these crimes with brutal efficiency” and said “he had bigger plans that day if he was able to get back to the car.”

Judge Monica Wiley agreed with the prosecutor and ordered White held on no bail, saying he “does pose great risk” to the safety of the public.

White, wearing a red jumpsuit, spoke only briefly during this afternoon’s hearing to waive his right to a speedy arraignment. He will return to court on July 24 to continue the arraignment and settle a dispute over who will represent him.

Defense attorney Steven Taxman said outside of court that he has been White’s attorney for years, but the city’s public defender’s office is also seeking to represent him in the case.

Taxman declined to comment on the allegations.

Min’s brother, Tun Oo, 48, attended the hearing and said outside of court that his sister had worked at the jewelry store for more than a decade and was a loyal employee.

Oo said Hung, Min’s boss, “treated her like his little sister.”

He said he came to today’s hearing because “I just want to see what’s going on.”

The Victoga store remains closed indefinitely, although the rest of the GiftCenter & JewelryMart has since reopened for business. The Dos Amigos restaurant was also open today and employees there declined to comment on the shooting.

White was out of custody while awaiting trial for a separate case in Antioch in 2009, when he allegedly rammed an Antioch police patrol car with his vehicle, prompting an officer to open fire on him.

The incident occurred on Aug. 29, 2009, when White allegedly came armed to a party, left after an altercation there, then rammed a patrol car near West Fifth and G streets, prompting an Antioch police officer to open fire and strike him, Antioch police said.

White was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest, with the trial scheduled to start next month in Contra Costa County Superior Court, according to that county’s district attorney’s office.

White filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Antioch police in 2011, accusing them of police brutality for the officer-involved shooting.

The lawsuit said that police shot at White and two other people in his car while they had their backs to the officers and their hands in the air.

White was struck in the head and ear by the police gunfire, according to the lawsuit.

That lawsuit is still pending in federal court.

(Copyright 2013  Bay City News.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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