CORRECTION 10/20/2021 at 2:00 p.m.: The second suspect's name is Roth Chan, not Roth Chang as previously reported, and has been corrected in the release below.
Through their relentless investigation, Homicide detectives from the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) Special Investigations Division arrested 29-year-old Buchantha Suon of Long Beach and 33-year-old Roth Chan of Tomball, Texas, formerly of Long Beach.
Both suspects were responsible for the Feb. 16, 2020 shooting death of 33-year-old Joseph Roque, a person experiencing homelessness in Long Beach.
On Feb. 11, 2021, detectives from the LBPD Special Investigations Division arrested Suon near his residence in the 800 block of East 8th Street.
On Oct. 14, 2021, LBPD detectives traveled to the area of Houston, Texas, to coordinate the arrest of Chan. Houston Police Department (HPD) Detectives and Special Agents from the FBI Violent Crime Task Force arrested Chan near the 11500 block of Bolander Court in the City of Tomball, Texas. Chan was booked for fugitive arrest from another state and is currently awaiting extradition from Texas to California.
Through their investigation, detectives believe that on the night of the murder, Suon and Chan were near the area of 6th Street and Lime Avenue searching for a person they believed attempted to steal property from Suon. While searching for this person, Suon and Chan encountered the victim and initiated a dispute which escalated to the shooting.
Suon was booked on one count of murder and is currently being held on $2,000,000 bail in a Los Angeles County jail awaiting trial. Chan will be booked on one count of murder and held on $2,000,000 bail once extradition is complete.
The LBPD would like to thank our partners with the FBI Violent Crime Task Force, HPD North Tactical Team, Harris County Sheriff’s Department, and the Harris County Detention Facility for their assistance in the investigation and apprehension of Chan.
We urge anyone who may have information regarding this incident to immediately contact LBPD Homicide Detail Detective Eric Thai at (562) 570-7244. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or text TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.
Original News Release 2/16/2020:
On February 16, 2020, at approximately 2:05 a.m., officers responded to the 700 block of E. 6th Street regarding a shots call, which resulted in the death of a male adult.
Upon arrival, officers located an unresponsive male adult victim in an alleyway located behind a residence with gunshot wounds to his upper torso. Long Beach Fire Department personnel responded and determined the victim deceased at the scene. The victim is only being identified as a 33-year-old resident of Long Beach, pending notification to next of kin by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
The preliminary investigation revealed a brief verbal dispute took place between the victim and a male adult suspect, which led to the shooting. The suspect fled on foot in an unknown direction and remains outstanding.
The exact motive for the shooting is currently unknown, however, the incident is being investigated as gang-related. Detectives are actively working to gather additional information to further the ongoing investigation.
The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) is seeking the public’s help in gathering additional information regarding this incident to further the ongoing investigation. We urge anyone who may have information regarding this incident to immediately contact LBPD Homicide Detail Detectives Oscar Valenzuela or Eric Thai at (562) 570-7244. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or text TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.