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Edmonton mass murder victims honoured at memorial

01/06/2015 05:43 EST | Updated 03/08/2015 05:59 EDT
The photos of five people, all members of one family killed in a mass shooting last week, sat on display before a crowd of more than 150 people that packed into a downtown funeral home Tuesday afternoon. 

“Their place in the world is no longer here, now they go to the next world,” said mourner Van Du.

The service honoured the family of Thuy Tien Truong, 35, who police say was shot to death by her husband in her north Edmonton home.

The shooter, identified as 53-year-old Phu Lam, also killed six others in the home:

- Elvis Lam, 8, son of Thuy Tien Truong.

- Thanh Ha Thi Truong, 33, sister of Thuy Tien Truong.

- Valentina Nguyen, 3, daughter of Ha Thi Truong.

- Thi Dau Le, 55, mother of Thuy Tien and Thanh Ha Thi Truong.

- Van Dang Truong, 55, estranged husband of Thi Dau Le and father of Thuy Tien and Thanh Ha Thi Truong.

- Viet Nguyen, 41, friend of Thuy Tien Truong.

Lam then drove to southwest Edmonton, where he shot Cyndi Duong, 37. Police say Duong's family and Truong's family knew each other.

Lam later killed himself in a Fort Saskatchewan restaurant.

More than 150 mourners arrived for the official service Tuesday. Phap Hoa, abbot of Truc Lam monastery, led the crowd in prayers for peace and forgiveness in the face of the killings.

“Life is fragile. We’re unable to tell what is going on for us tomorrow,” he later told reporters. “Life is meaningful by how we come to each other.” 

He said the family of the victims has been helped through their grief by the outpouring of support from residents of the city, particularly the Vietnamese community.

Tam Nguyen, the husband of Thanh Ha Thi Truong, was doing well, Hoa said. He is now caring for the couple's surviving child.

“He knows that he needs to be strong and stable and solid in order to take care of his son," he said.

“I think all of the families have accepted and forgive. Everyone needs love. Everyone needs understanding.”

The public was invited to pay their respects at the Howard and McBride chapel until 6 p.m. MT.

Earlier this week, both the victims and the killer were also honoured at a prayer service at a central Edmonton monastery that drew hundreds.

A service for Cyndi Duong was held Monday. The funeral for Viet Nguyen will be held Jan. 8.

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