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ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 19, 6 P.M.: Early Saturday morning, a brutal beating outside the Crosby in downtown Santa Ana left a woman in what news reports only described as "extremely critical condition." This afternoon, family and friends of the 23-year-old woman (who the Weekly isn't identifying at the time, per the request of her loved ones) gathered outside the Crosby to create a memorial on an electric box near where she was left unconscious, leaving flowers and poster boards that implored any witnesses to step forward.
And they bore terrible news: the young woman had passed away from her injuries.
While there, the group vainly looked for a security camera inside nearby businesses or on top of buildings that might've captured the murder. As it stands, Santa Ana police only know that the assailants were three women and two men, all Latinos, and that witnesses recorded and took photos of the assault.
"They need more surveillance down here," said one young man at the scene. He wore a visitor sticker of the hospital where the young woman had been on life support since Saturday. She had been declared brain dead.
According to another woman, her friend had gotten into an argument with one of the female assailants, at which point the men jumped in. Even after the victim fell to the ground, the mob kept stomping on her. "It's inhumane that that happened," she said.
This is the second high-profile murder to make news in downtown Santa Ana within a year. Last February, police arrested two juveniles for the 2010 murder of Jeffrey Chung in a parking structure. In that case, detectives were also hampered by the lack of security cameras in the ever-popular downtown.
A Facebook page is forthcoming for the victim; when it becomes public, we'll post it here. In the meanwhile, any witnesses to the murder are urged to call the numbers on the poster boards above. Or, if you'd like to pass along tips to me and not contact the police, please contact me at the email below–anonymity guaranteed.
UPDATE, JAN. 20, 3:50 P.M.: An arrest has been made in the brutal beating death of a woman outside the Crosby this past Saturday morning. We can now report that the victim is 23-year-old Kim Pham. On Facebook, her sister posted the following message this afternoon.
Our beloved sister, daughter and friend Kim (Annie) Pham passed away on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 12:36 PM. Kim is currently on life support because her wishes had always been to help others by being an organ donor.
At this time, we ask for privacy to mourn for our loss. Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers and we are still fighting for Kim. Stay strong.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Pham's family. Please keep any and all tips coming.
UPDATE, JAN. 22, 7:30: The Los Angeles Times is reporting that friends of Kim Pham claim that the dispute that lead to her beating at the fists and feet of five people outside the Crosby began when Pham accidentally walked in front of a camera as her assailants posed. The unnamed friend also claims that the cellphone of one of the monsters was recovered, meaning while those pendejos and pendejas not yet caught may be running for the border, they won't be able to hide for too long.
And lest you think that the Times is reporting mere rumors, one of the reporters who broke the story is Anh Do, perhaps the most respected journalistic voice in Little Saigon due to her more than 20 years reporting on the enclave. Do is a dogged, sober reporter, so if she reports something, it's only after assiduously doing her work. An update from Do, no doubt, is in the works as we speak…