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North Carolina Buddhist monk killed while kneeling in prayer by stray bullet

Written by on July 21, 2020

A Buddhist monk was kneeling in prayer at the altar of a North Carolina temple when he was shot and killed by an apparent stray bullet fired through a wall, police said.

High Point police said officers responded Saturday evening to the Chua An Lac temple, where Tam Dinh Tran, 50, was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Another monk, Vu Ta, found Tran kneeling at the altar, in a praying position, with blood coming out of his nose.” Lt. Matt Truitt said in a news release Monday. “Ta feared Tran was suffering from a medical condition and called 911 for assistance. When EMS began CPR, it was discovered that Tran had an injury to his right side.”

Chua An Lac temple in High Point, N.C.

Chua An Lac temple in High Point, N.C. (Google Maps)

Truitt said it initially appeared Tran suffered a puncture wound.

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“There were no other apparent injuries to Tran,” he said. “There were no other signs of violence in the temple.”

Detectives later found two bullet holes in the wall of the temple. They believe one of those bullets penetrated the wall and struck Tran, Truitt said.

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During a canvass of the area Sunday, detectives recovered two shell casings along the roadway.

Truitt told Fox News Tuesday that it was possible the bullets may have come from one vehicle firing at another as they drove by the temple.

The bullet struck Tran just below his right armpit. The coroner recovered the bullet during the autopsy.

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The temple has about 100 worshippers.

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