A teenager accused of shooting and killing his father in a Scripps Ranch condo testified about the moments leading up to the deadly shooting.
Tranh Pham, 45, was shot in a bedroom of the family's home near Scripps Ranch Boulevard and Affinity Court on April 29.
The defendant said his father hit him at once a week and before the shooting, he testified his father told him he was going to go into the garage and get something. The teenager testified that he was freaking out, thinking that his father was going to beat him.
He described how he had grabbed a loaded gun out of an unlocked safe in the family's home because he had decided to run away.
Then, seven minutes before the shooting, his father hit him in the face.
When his father lunged forward with his right hand, the teenager fired the first shot, he said in court Thursday.
"I was like 'I can't believe I shot my dad,'" he said. "And he comes back again."
"And then I fired the rest of the shots."
According to the Medical Examiner’s office, Pham was shot four times from close range. At the time of the shooting, the defendant was about 5-feet, 7-inches tall and 111 pounds.
"I had my eyes closed when I fired the rest of the shots so I just saw him drop and I knew he had passed," the teenager said.
The teen's older brother called 911 to report the shooting, according to the San Diego Police Department.
The 15-year-old's attorneys argue that the boy’s father was abusive and that he shot him in self-defense, and his family members are expected to testify about the father's allegedly abusive behavior.
The teen was arrested about four hours later after a witness spotted him along a street just a few miles from the condo. A handgun was found in his bag, SDPD said.
The teen is being tried for murder as a juvenile. Cases involving minors are usually closed to the public, but his trial is open because of the seriousness of the charges.
Under cross-examination, the teen testified that he played the game "Escape from Tarkov" for hours and that when his father shut off the WiFi as punishment, the teen would turn the WiFi back on without his parents knowing.
The defendant testified that his father kept the WiFi off until his father was home from work.