A 36-year-old man was sentenced Thursday to 80 years to life in prison for a shooting at a Long Beach liquor store in 2017 that left two men dead and two bystanders wounded.
Morris Om, who was 30 at the time of the killings, was convicted by jurors in February of two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. He was also found guilty of felony evasion; felony possession of a firearm; misdemeanor child abuse, a charge that comes as a result of Om having a child in the car when he crashed while evading police; and allegations that he used a firearm in the commission of a crime.
Om, according to authorities, shot and killed 22-year-old Dallas Som and 21-year-old Danny Bunthung on the night of Oct. 10, 2017, during a fight at S & L Liquor and Market at the corner of Anaheim Street and Walnut Avenue.
During a weeklong trial in February, prosecutors revealed Som and Bunthung were at the liquor store sometime after 9 p.m. when Om, along with fellow gang member Savanna Sok, entered the business.
Om and Sok recognized Som and Bunthung as members of a rival gang, and a fight broke out, according to prosecutors.
At some point during the fight, Om left the store, returned with a gun and fired multiple rounds at Som and Bunthung from close range, killing them, according to prosecutors. Two bystanders were also struck but suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Though Om and Sok fled the scene before officers arrived, they were later taken into custody in connection with the shooting.
Prosecutors called the shooting an “execution” given the close range of the shooting and the fact that Om escalated the fistfight by returning with a gun.
Om’s attorney Michael Balmer never disputed that his client was responsible for shooting Som and Bunthung. Instead, he argued that the double-killing was justified because Om was saving Sok’s life, according to the Press-Telegram.
The newspaper reported that Balmer said the reason Om fired from such a close range was that he was near-sighted without his glasses and needed to make sure he wasn’t shooting his friend. Investigators later found Om’s glasses on top of an ATM inside the liquor store.
Meanwhile, Sok and eight others have since pleaded no contest to the charges against them after being taken into custody in connection to the shooting.