Friends say that a woman who was recently beaten to death outside of a Southern California nightclub was attacked because she accidentally walked in front of the camera as a group of revelers took photos nearby.
Witness say that accidental photobomb led to a verbal altercation, which led to a physical altercation that culminated in the death of Kim Pham, 23.
The night of the fight, Pham was at the Crosby Club in Santa Ana to celebrate a birthday with at least eight other friends.
When Pham accidentally walked in front of the other group's camera in the "early hours" of January 18, the fight broke out. Pham's ex-boyfriend apparently tried to intervene but was pulled away by a bouncer.
According to the LA Times, "an eight-second video of the incident shows one person kicking at something on the ground as a crowd gathers."
"One kick and she was out cold," said Jason, a witness. "No one touched her after that."
But police say they have little to go on because they are having trouble identifying Pham's friends and ex-boyfriends, who are refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
Longtime observers of Orange County's sprawling Vietnamese population say the dynamic doesn't surprise them in a community where distrust of authority — and reluctance to cooperate with police — still runs through generations. Many arrived in America with fresh memories of the deeply corrupt government back home.
"People worry that there will be retaliation," said Cmdr. Tim Vu, the highest-ranking Vietnamese American in law enforcement in Orange County. "They don't know the court system and are intimidated by it."
Pham's friends are currently soliciting information, circulating Crime Stoppers contact information through Instagram.
One local woman, Vanesa Zavala, 25, was arrested and charged with Pham's murder last week. A second woman, Candace Marie Brito, 27, was charged with felony murder today and is being held on a $1 million bail.
According to KPCC, police have cellphone footage of the attack from bystanders who apparently did not try to intervene.
Brito's attorney told the radio station that if prosecutors are planning to use the cellphone video as evidence against Brito, "that dog won't hunt."
[image via Facebook]