Popular Hmong singer identified as victim of Fresno shooting

A popular singer was identified Monday as one of the four men killed during the shooting at a backyard football watch party in California.

Xy Lee, a well-known musician in the Southeast Asian Hmong community with more than 90,000 subscribers on his professional YouTube channel, was remembered as handsome with a “wonderful voice.”

“He was very well known in the community because he’s local and he’s a very nice guy,” Hmong radio host Moua Vang said on-air, according to Fox26 News. “He had such a wonderful voice and his lovely music touches everybody’s heart.”

The 23-year-old rising star was killed Sunday evening when two gunmen stormed a family gathering in Fresno and opened fire into a crowd of more than a dozen men watching the game, police said.

“This is truly a heartbreaking time for everyone involved,” read a post in the Facebook community group Hmong Talk. “Thank you [Lee] for all the beautiful music that you have created. You will truly be miss! RIP!”

Authorities named the three other people killed as Phia Vang, 31; Kalaxang Thao, 40; and Kou Xiong, 38, according to The Los Angeles Times. Xiong lived at the house where the shooting took place.

Another popular singer, JV Vang, was among the six people injured, said Pao Yang, the head of non-profit The Fresno Center, which serves the local Hmong community.

“They come out and perform to our mental health clients every year, especially gearing up for the Hmong New Year,” Yang said of the musicians. “These are people that are near and dear to us.”

“It’s a dark day in our community, not only in our Hmong community but in our Fresno community,” Yang added.

Police said the home where the shooting occurred was targeted and are creating an Asian gang task force to investigate, according to the LA Times.

A reward of $5,000 is being offered for any information leading to an arrest in the case. Federal officials are assisting with the investigation.

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