Father Recalls Holding Dying Son After Mother's Day Shooting

"He held my hand and said, 'Daddy, I cannot breathe. It hurts, it really hurts.'"

Chan Chyleng remembers holding his son as he lay dying, a bullet lodged in his hip on Mother's Day, of all days.

The family was celebrating the holiday at a party last week in a Corona apartment complex when shots rang out. Someone standing in an alley opened fire at the parking lot where Chyleng, his wife and his 21-year-old son, Arlit, were gathered among other people.

"I turn around and they opened fire over there. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom," Chyleng recalled. People immediately scattered, and that's when he felt pain in his right arm from a bullet that had ricocheted off the ground.

Chyleng immediately began looking for his son and that's when he noticed him bleeding from a bullet wound to the hip. Chyleng ran to Arlit and tried to comfort him.

He held his son as they waited for paramedics.

"He held my hand and said, 'Daddy, I cannot breathe. It hurts, it really hurts,'" Chyleng recalled, pausing as he reached for his sleeve to wipe the tears welling up behind his eyes.

The bullet went right through Arlit's body.

For his mother, Phuong Leng, the heartache of losing a son has been overwhelming, especially because she lost another son in a car crash in 2013. "I feel really bad, really bad. So sad," she said, trying to blink away the tears.

Chyleng said his son was not in a gang and that the gunman may have mistaken Arlit for somebody else. Witnesses say the unidentified shooter possibly left in a red sedan.

As investigators look through surveillance video for clues, Chyleng is hoping the gunman is caught as soon as possible.

"Don't release him," he said. "Let him stay in jail forever."

If you would like to donate to a GoFundMe account set up to help with funeral costs, you may do so here.

Contact Us