What we know about the Upper Makefield shooting of 2 brothers in their home

Trinh Nguyen was facing a deadline.

After months of a dispute over more than $11,000 in back rent, eviction day was finally coming Tuesday and authorities could force her from the Upper Makefield home she shared with her two boys.

By Monday afternoon she would be in police custody, and her sons, just 10 and 13, would lay in hospital beds critically wounded on life support as township police and Bucks County detectives investigated what went so tragically wrong in the family’s home on Timber Ridge Road that morning.

The boys, Council Rock School District students, were not expected to survive the injuries they suffered, but as of Tuesday morning, authorities had not reported any change in their condition.

The Bucks County District Attorney on Monday said the children’s mother, Trinh Nguyen, 38, shot her sons in their heads early Monday morning before trying to shoot 22-year-old Gianni Melchiondo, as he left for work from his home on the same property where Nguyen and the boys lived.

Police and Melchiondo’s mother, who is also an aunt to the young victims and the landlord of the property, would find the boys laying in their beds alive but critically wounded as authorities said their mother fled the scene.

Here’s what we know as police continue to investigate Tuesday:

What happened Monday in Upper Makefield?

Investigators work on the scene of an Upper Makefield home where two boys, 10 and 13 years old, were shot Monday morning. Their mother, 38-year-old Trinh Nguyen, was arrested and charged in the shooting, according to Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub.

Trinh Nguyen shot both her children inside the rented home they share in a neighborhood off Highland Road in Upper Makefield and then turned the gun on Gianni Melchiondo, who came ran into the mother as he was leaving for work. Nguyen and Melchiondo both lived at the Timber Ridge Road property in what authorities called a duplex.

At about 7:05 am, Nguyen gave a box of photos to Melchiondo, 22, and asked him to give the photos to her ex-husband, Bucks County DA Matt Weintraub said.

Melchiondo is the nephew of Nguyen’s ex-husband, who is the younger boy’s father, and the son of the landlord of the Timber Ridge Road home, according to the criminal complaint. His mother and police would find the children in their beds with gunshot wounds to the head, sparking a manhunt early Monday for Nguyen after she pointed the gun at Melchiondo, pulling the trigger twice, police allege.

“But by the grace of god, the gun did not fire,” Weintraub said.

Melchiondo got Nguyen in a “bear hug,” and managed to get the gun away from her, he said. She then fled the scene.

More:Upper Makefield mom who police say shot sons, 10 and 13, was facing eviction Tuesday

What is the status of Trinh Nguyen’s two sons?

As of early Tuesday morning, the children remained on life support. At least one of the boys underwent surgery at St. Mary Medical Center on Monday, according to court records. Neither boy is expected to survive and the family has decided to donated their organs so they can be transplanted in others.

“I have two kids; it can’t hit any closer to home than this. I’ve been saying my prayers ever since I got the call this morning,” Weintraub said.

“It’s a very difficult image to get out of my head,” he said.

Investigators work on the scene of an Upper Makefield home where two boys, 10 and 13 years old, were shot Monday morning.  Their mother, 38-year-old Trinh Nguyen, was arrested and charged in the shooting, according to Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub.

Investigators work on the scene of an Upper Makefield home where two boys, 10 and 13 years old, were shot Monday morning. Their mother, 38-year-old Trinh Nguyen, was arrested and charged in the shooting, according to Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub.

How was Trinh Nguyen arrested and charged?

After fleeing, Nguyen was on the run and considered “armed and dangerous” for hours before police found her and took her into custody Monday at about 11:30 am

Nguyen was spotted going over the Washington Crossing Bridge into Hopewell New Jersey shortly after the incident, according to the DA. More than four hours later, she was spotted in the parking lot of Washington Crossing United Methodist Church.

“I give credit to the church officials, who saw our social media post, and alerted police that the defendant was in a van in their parking lot,” Weintraub said.

Nguyen was taken into custody there. The DA said there were indications she was under the influence of drugs at the time. She was also found with ammunition for her revolver in her vehicle when she was arrested, according to Weintraub.

She was arraigned Monday on four counts of felony attempted homicide and one count of possessing an instrument of crime, which is a misdemeanor. She was denied bail and taken to Bucks County Corrections.

Charges against her were expected to be upgraded to homicide as her sons were not expected to survive.

More:Community holds prayer service for brothers shot in Upper Makefield home Monday

What was the motive in the shooting in Upper Makefield?

Authorities say they are still investigating what led to the shooting on Timber Ridge Road on Monday.

Police from Lower Makefield, Newtown Township, Newtown Borough police and the Central Bucks Crime Scene Unit helped Upper Makefield and County Detectives in the investigation. The DA declined to comment on the motive Monday.

“We have some very strong leads on motive, but I think it would be premature and unfair of me to comment on motive right now,” he said, adding that a motive would become evident in the future.

Was Trinh Nguyen facing eviction?

Yes, and by Tuesday she could have been physically removed and forced to leave the home on Timber Ridge Road, according to court documents.

Nguyen was ordered to leave their luxury home, described by officials as a duplex with relatives living in separate units, by Tuesday for failure to pay more than $11,000 in rent, this news organization has learned through court documents detailing the eviction proceedings.

Weintraub would not comment on the eviction dates Monday.

This news organization has independently confirmed through court records that Nguyen was in a landlord-tenant dispute with her ex-sister-in-law, Corinna Tini-Melchiondo, who owns the five-bedroom home.

Nguyen and her now ex-husband, Ed Tini, moved into the Timber Ridge home after they were married in 2012 and she continued to live there with her sons after he moved out last June, according to court documents.

Nguyen’s lease was terminated in late September, about a month before her divorce from Tini was finalized, court records show.

A district judge ordered Nguyen to pay $11,500 in rent and other costs in December and she appealed the district court ruling to Bucks County Court of Common Pleas. An order for possession, the final step in an eviction proceeding, was issued in April, with an eviction date of May 3, 2022.

This news organization has filed a right to know requests to determine if there was any police activity at the house leading up to Monday’s shootings.

More:Council Rock community mourns as family with Upper Makefield shooting

Remembering the young victims at their schools

On Monday night, the older brother’s classmates remembered 13-year-old Jeffrey “JT” Tini and his brother, Nelson Tini, with a vigil at Newtown Middle School. JT was a student at the middle school. The boy was a swimmer, with medals to prove his success in the water. Online tributes remembered him as a helpful and kind kid, who volunteered his morning to assist in a special needs classroom at his school.

His younger brother, Nelson, was a student at Sol Feinstone Elementary School. He is 10, according to court records. In social media posts, he was remembered as a sweet and funny boy, who played sports, including baseball.

“This tragic event has a significant and heart-wrenching impact on our Council Rock community. We know that parents, students, staff, and members of our community will process this tragedy in different ways and different paces, Acting Superintendent Susan Elliott wrote in a online statement Tuesday. “We have several counselors and additional support at the buildings the two boys attended.”

She said counselors would be available at other schools in Council Rock as well.

The Crossing Church at 1895 Wrightstown Road is holding a prayer service for the family Tuesday at 7 pm that is open to the public.

For more on this developing story, please check back throughout the day.

Crime scene tape surrounds an Upper Makefield home where two brothers, 10 and 13 years old, were shot Monday morning.  Their mother, 38-year-old Trinh Nguyen, was arrested and charged in the shooting, according to Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub.

Crime scene tape surrounds an Upper Makefield home where two brothers, 10 and 13 years old, were shot Monday morning. Their mother, 38-year-old Trinh Nguyen, was arrested and charged in the shooting, according to Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub.

This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Trinh Nguyen shot her sons in Upper Makefield home, DA says

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