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Witnesses recount Jack in the Box hostage standoff | Crime

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Witnesses recount Jack in the Box hostage standoff

SACRAMENTO, CA - Sacramento police said Zang Khang, who was shot and killed during a four-hour hostage standoff at a Jack in the Box, was extremely hostile, unpredictable, violent, and smoking narcotics during the entire ordeal.

Police said there were about eight customers and workers inside the Jack in the Box in the College Greens Shopping Center when 26-year-old Khang went in and immediately grabbed an 11-year-old girl by the hair while pointing his gun at her father. He threatened to kill both of them but once he released the girl and he walked toward the kitchen, both she and her father managed to escape. All but two employees also managed to get away.

Erika Aldama owns the nearby Mexican restaurant in the College Greens shopping center. She called 911 when one of the Jack in the Box employees ran in for help.

"She was really freaking out," Aldama said. "It was scary to see her the way she was, just yelling and worried about the other ones who stayed behind."

A bail bondsman happened to be eating in Aldama's restaurant at the time and he sprang to action.

"I picked up my gun and ran to the back of the Jack in the Box," Dan Escamilla said.

There were about 10 others inside Aldama's restaurant, including her children.

"I'm just worried about my kids and customers," Aldama said. "I tell everyone to stay back, just stay in the little room back there."

It was a busy Saturday afternoon and public safety was paramount.

"They told me and another cop to start getting people back," security guard Wayne Hale said. "Traffic was still coming off the road and everything."

Police set up a perimeter. The SWAT team moved in. The terror continued for four hours. Police said Khang was seen using one of the hostages as a human shield while moving around inside the restaurant. Fortunately, both hostages escaped unharmed. A sniper shot took Khang down.

Police also said Khang had the opportunity to steal money and take off before cops got there but he didn't.

Police said they had to shoot Khang because they determined, from conversations with him, that he was not going to peacefully surrender and they feared he would hurt the remaining hostage.

At their Sacramento home, Khang's family was very shaken. Khang's brother said he didn't understand why police had to kill his brother.

But while things are slowly returning to normal, witnesses like Aldama still relive those terrifying moments each time she steps outside her restaurant.

"I'm still like shaken up about it even though I wasn't with the gunman," Aldama said. "But, it's just being so close to something like this."

by Siemny Chhoun, SChhuon@news10.net


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