GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – Trini Ta Do knew something was wrong with her marriage at least as early as September 2008 when she filed for divorce against her husband, Tan Quoc Do.
But she had two young children to think of and a desire to keep her family together, court affidavits show.
Seven months later, Trini Do withdrew her divorce request. And on Saturday, her estranged husband opened fire during their son’s birthday party at the Forum Roller World skating rink, killing her, himself and four of her family members.
After the divorce request was withdrawn, the case was closed and filed away somewhere in the Tarrant County courthouse; until Dec. 22, 2010.
This time Trini Do, of Grand Prairie, asked the court for a protection order against her husband – for her safety, for the safety of her children and for the welfare of the rest of the family she was trying so hard to keep together.
In an affadvit, Trini Do gave a chilling account of what she said Tan Do had done since she withdrew her first efforts to leave him. “He dragged me into the closet, pull his gun … and threaten me. I was afraid for my safety,” part of the affidavit said, her meaning abundantly clear, even in broken English.
Last November, Tan Do got mad at his wife again. She decided to argue back.
“He was so angry and come toward me and slaps me twice in my face,” Trini Do said in her statement to the court. “I was so mad that he could do that to me in front (of) my two kids.”
Trini Do played as if she was calling police, but purposely misdialed the 911 call because “I didn’t want my husband (to get) arrested …”
That made Tan Do even madder.
“He dragged me into the kitchen and slam me into his knee … He was so upset and went inside the room and gets all the guns out. If anyone show up at the house, he will shoot them … The kids saw that and they both frighten and cry so bad,” Trini Do said in the affidavit.
As days passed, Trini Do said, there were more incidents of abuse, including this: “He wouldn’t let me sleep. He poured water in my face every time I closed my eyes.”
The court agreed that there was an abundance of evidence for even greater danger to come. It ordered Tan Do to stop “committing family violence” and stay away from his wife and family.
But last January, Trini Do decided to give her husband another chance. Against the advice of a prosecutor in the family violence unit of the DA’s office, she asked that the protective order be dismissed.
In March, the court had no choice but to do just that.
“My husband promised to change and will work on our marriage for the kids. I hope that I am making the right decision on the last chance and pray that he can really change,’’ Trini Do said in a second affidavit.
Sadly, it was not the right decision, despite Trini Do’s best intentions. Her husband did not change.
Police say that shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday, Tan Do pulled a gun inside a Grand Prairie skating rink and began shooting people who were celebrating his own young son’s birthday party.
The wife who had prayed for him, and who had given him so many chances, died. So did two of her sisters, a brother and a sister-in-law. Four people, none of them children, were wounded.
Tan Do saved the last bullet for himself, his death a final act of betrayal for a wife who only wanted to throw their son a birthday party.
Application for a protective order against Tan Quoc Do:
Motion to dismiss protective order against Tan Quoc Do:
Court affidavit after injunction hearing when Trini Ta Do dismissed her application for a protective order against her husband, Tan Quoc Do: