Pa. Mom Accused of Shooting 2 Young Sons as They Slept, Boys Not Expected to Survive

Trinh Nguyen, who was facing eviction, allegedly shot her sons, JT Tini, 13, and Nelson Tini, 9

Jeffrey "JT" Tini and Nelson Tini
JT Tini and Nelson Tini. Photo: Facebook

On a typical Monday morning, Jeffrey "JT" Tini, 13, and Nelson Tini, 9, would be getting ready for school in their rented house in their quiet Pennsylvania town.

But this past Monday, as the brothers slept in their beds, they were shot in the head — allegedly by their mother, Trinh Nguyen, 38, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said in a statement.

She then allegedly turned the gun on one of her ex-husband's relatives, Gianni Melchiondo, 22, who lives on the other side of the duplex home, but the gun didn't fire. Then, she fled in her minivan, according to the DA's statement.

Quickly located by police, Nguyen, who lived with the boys in Newtown, was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of an instrument of crime.

Trinh Nguyen
Trinh Nguyen.

"It's just a tragedy, a human tragedy from every aspect," neighbor Henry Lieberman said, WPVI reports.

The boys are not expected to survive and are being kept on life support until their organs can be donated through the Gift of Life.

"Once that occurs we will update these charges to two counts of homicide," Weintraub said during a press conference on Monday, CBS News Philly reports.

A shaken Weintraub said, "I have two kids, and this couldn't hit any closer to home," The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "I've kept saying my prayers since I got the call this morning."

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Authorities have not revealed what the motive was.

Weintraub said the investigation is still in the early stages.

But court records reveal that Nguyen was about to be evicted from the home by her ex-husband's aunt on Tuesday because of unpaid rent, The Inquirer, the Courier Times and CBS News Philly report.

Jeffrey "JT" Tini and Nelson Tini
JT and Nelson Tini. Facebook

Nguyen and the boys' father, Edward Tini, had recently divorced, the Courier Times reports.

She and the boys lived in a home owned by her ex-husband's sister, Corinna Tini-Melchiondo, the Courier Times reports.

Court records show that Nguyen owed her former sister-in-law more than $11,000 in rent and court fees.

On April 14, a judge ruled in favor of the landlord, court records show.

In late April, Nguyen received a letter saying she had to leave the property by Tuesday, or be forced out by a state constable.

Suspect Tracked Down at Church

On Monday, just after 7 a.m., police in Upper Makefield Township were called to Timber Ridge Road about a "report of an armed subject," Weintraub said in his statement.

Nguyen approached Gianni Melchiondo, who was getting ready to leave for work, the Courier Times reports.

Melchiondo told police that Nguyen "handed him a box of photos and asked him to give the box to her ex-husband, who he worked with," Weintraub said in the statement.

"When the victim turned around to face Nguyen, he saw Nguyen pointing a black revolver to his face," Melchiondo alleged in the statement. "Nguyen pulled the trigger two times, but the gun did not fire."

At that point, Melchiondo wrapped Nguyen in "a bear hug" and disarmed her, the statement said.

Nguyen then fled the scene in her 2018 Toyota Sienna minivan.

Corrina Tini-Melchiondo and a police officer checked inside Nguyen's home and found the boys suffering from gunshot wounds to the head, the statement says.

Police and EMTs rushed the boys to a local hospital to try to save them.

At 11:30 a.m., police tracked Nguyen down at the United Methodist Church in Washington's Crossing.

Before being arrested, she was taken to the hospital "due to the indication that she was under the influence," the statement alleged.

It is unclear whether she has retained an attorney who can speak on her behalf.

As police continue to investigate, the community is mourning the loss of the two brothers, and locals have held two vigils for the boys.

The Council Rock School District issued a statement, saying in part, "I am deeply saddened to send this communication to you in light of the well-publicized tragedy involving two Council Rock students today. A tragic event is always difficult to process for all of us, especially our children."

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