Man threw mother off UCI building, then jumped, police say


A former UC Irvine student allegedly threw his mother from a building on campus before jumping to his death Tuesday in an incident that authorities are investigating as a murder-suicide.

The bodies of Andrew Nguyen Doan, 36, and Thao Thi Nguyen, 77, both of Irvine, were found Tuesday afternoon in a plaza inside the School of Social Sciences, according to Irvine police.

“The investigation revealed that Doan picked up Nguyen and threw him off the landing of a multi-storey building,” police said. “Doan then jumped from the same landing to his death.”

Doan majored in biological sciences at UC Irvine from September 2017 to June 2019; he did not graduate, said UCI spokesman Tom Vasich.

Campus police received several 911 calls reporting two people on the ground in front of a building just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, Irvine police said. The couple’s bodies were found in the plaza at the 200 block of Pereira Drive.

A motive for Tuesday’s fatal incident is not known, but police said they had contacted Doan “several times in the past”, most recently in 2019 for “mental health issues”.

Orange County Superior Court records show that on July 10, 2020, Doan pleaded guilty to sexual battery in connection with an incident that had occurred approximately a year earlier.

The 2019 case involved his roommate’s sexual battery at a mental hospital, said Kimberly Edds, a spokesman for the Orange County district attorney.

Court records show that Nguyen posted $100,000 bail for her son on September 26, 2019 and that he was later sentenced to 156 days in prison and three years’ probation.

Doan’s probation ended on July 22 this year, court records show.

Friday was the last day of fall quarters on the Orange County campus, so few students were on site when the bodies were found, Vasich said. Still, on Wednesday, the university provided counselors to students and others affected by the incident.

Signs with phone numbers for suicide prevention lines and similar messages have been posted in the stairwells near where the bodies were found, Vasich said, and there are more signs in various locations on campus.

Authorities say Maxwell Chorak, 25, of Santa Ana, jumped to his death in 2014 from a social sciences building on the UC Irvine campus. He died in the same square where Nguyen and Doan’s bodies were found on Tuesday.

Chorak’s stepfather, Matthew Holtzmann, wrote in a personal blog post at the time that his stepson had mental health issues.

He wrote about where his son had jumped: “The parking garage had suicide prevention tiles with hotline numbers bricked into the walls from the third floor. It was the culmination of every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Resources for suicide prevention and crisis counseling

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, seek help from a professional and call 9-8-8. The first nationwide three-digit mental health hotline in the United States, 988, connects callers to trained mental health counselors. Text “HOME” to 741741 in the US and Canada to reach the Crisis Text Line.

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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