Boca Raton shooting victim says killed man shielded him from bullets

Boca Raton shooting victim says killed man shielded him from bullets

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Boca Raton police said a 62-year-old man is dead and another victim was hurt in an early-morning double shooting at NE 28th Street and NE 2nd Avenue.

Police said the shooting occurred at about 4 a.m. Monday.

The two victims were taken to Delray Medical Center where one of them later died. Police identified him as Thang Nguyen, 62. The other shooting victim, David Bartolino, 44, has been released from the hospital.

Police said Nguyen took a gun outside to confront a group accused of attacking Bartolino. Investigators say someone in that group also had a gun.

Shots were fired, killing Nguyen. A police spokesperson said detectives are working to find out if Nguyen fired his gun.

Police say two men involved in the incident reached out to the police department afterward and have been cooperative.

As of now, no one has been arrested.

Bartolino said Nguyen recently took him into his home.

"I lost a very good friend this morning," the 44-year-old said.

He claimed he was walking along NE 2nd Avenue at about 3:30 this morning when three men came out of a house and started attacking him.

"They took a swing at me, and I came in to get my friend Thang," Bartolino explained.

He said he woke up Nguyen and asked for help. The two of them then went back outside to confront the attackers.

Police said Nguyen and one of the accused attackers both had guns.

Bartolino was shot in the shoulder, but said Nguyen shielded him from the bullets, saving his life.

"I saw them.  I can ID them. Now, I'm going to run scared because now what's going to happen? Who's going to watch me now?" said Bartolino.

Friends and neighbors describe Nguyen as an avid fisherman, with the nickname "Wild Thang," who frequently fished off the dock at Silver Palm Park.

A representative from the Boca Raton Resort and Club says Nguyen worked there from October 1998 to January 2016. Neighbors said he was a chef.

If anyone has information, you are urged to call Detective Scott Hanley at (561) 338-1344 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.

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