Praise for hero husband
Published: November 30, 2006 | 5106th good news item since 2003
Joy Hong believes her husband saved her life when he stepped between her and a gunman and took a bullet in the chest during an armed robbery. [My Hero: Extraordinary People on the Heroes Who Inspire Them]
Yesterday, Hong’s husband David Nghiem continued to recover at Foothills hospital with family by his side.
“He’s doing a little better,” said Hong.
“When I think about it, I get upset and scared.”
Hong said her husband was taking out the trash as they were closing the Dollar Food Store at 1208 14 Ave. S.W. when the men walked into the store carrying two cans.
“They walked slowly to the counter and they talked low,” she said.
“They didn’t scream or yell and they told me to put all the cigarettes in the can.”
Hong said she didn’t know one of the men was armed and she ran to the phone and called 911, grabbing a hammer.
Meanwhile, Nghiem came from the back and noticed what was happening.
He ran behind the counter and struggled with one of the men.
“He grabbed bear spray we keep behind the counter and he yelled ‘get out or I’ll spray,’ ” said Hong.
Hong said one of the robbers turned around and pulled a gun on them.
“When my husband saw the gun, he pulled me back and stood in front of me,” she said.
“I think he was trying to protect me.”
The gunman pulled the trigger and fired a single shot into Nghiem.
Nghiem, who was likely in shock and didn’t realize he had been shot, chased the men out of the store as Hong called 911 again.
Hong said it wasn’t until she pointed out the bullet hole in her husband’s shirt that he started to feel pain.
“I started screaming to the police, ‘My husband is bleeding.’ ”
When police arrived, the men had fled to their next target and then hit two more places before the night was up.
Hong said she will feel nervous returning to work until the thugs are caught.