Despite the police version, Tran wasn’t a hardened criminal, but rather a loving husband and, due to a disability, a stay-at-home dad for his bubbly 3-year-old son. As with the Kelly Thomas case, the GGPD also knew he suffered from an onset of adult schizophrenia because they’d been called to take him to the hospital for medical aid on five occasions prior to the fatal incident. Tran, who’d emigrated from Saigon to the United States with his family at age 13, had never carried weapons or been violent, though he’d been arrested for minor drug possession 12 years earlier, a charge later dismissed. The police and Register inference that he had been attempting to burglarize a residence proves especially despicable when you learn he’d taken the screen off a window of his own home.
On the day of the killing, Tran’s elderly parents did what they’d done before—they called 911, expecting help. Their son had been in the front yard struggling with a bout of schizophrenia. He wasn’t armed, and he wasn’t threatening anyone. According to three eyewitnesses, he was disoriented, mumbling and crying.
When officer Daniel Karschamroon arrived at the scene, he saw Tran at the window and issued a series of commands. Tran seemed to snap back to reality and didn’t hesitate to obey each order, according to all accounts. As Karschamroon began to finish handcuffing Tran and take him as a code “5150” mental patient to the hospital, eyewitness Mark Zimmerman, a neighbor standing about 30 feet away, saw no hint of resistance. But a second cop arrived. Karschamroon did not tell his colleague that Tran was resisting arrest or preparing to assault them, but officer Richard Gendreau nonetheless took out his Taser gun. With Tran standing still with his hands on his head, Gendreau fired a high-voltage dart into his thigh.