The FBI's Boston Division put out a call on Tuesday for information that can help arrest and bring to justice a man suspected of killing six people in 1991, including five in one massacre in Boston exactly 30 years ago.
The FBI is offering a $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Hung Tien Pham, who would be 60 years old today and disappeared after the early morning shooting at a social club in Boston's Chinatown.
"It is with heavy hearts that we mark today's anniversary of one of the bloodiest massacres in Boston's history," said Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division.
U.S. & World
He was joined by Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins and Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, at a news conference at the FBI's local headquarters in Chelsea, where reporters also asked about preparations ahead of armed protests that the FBI has warned about.
Pham is also suspected in the killing of another person in Boston days before the shooting at a social club on Tyler Street early in the morning on Jan. 12, 1991, Bonavolonta said.
In that massacre, Pham and two other men are believed to have shot six men in the back of the heads while they played cards. One survived, identifying Pham and two other men as the shooters, according to Bonavolonta.
The other two men were eventually arrested in China and brought back to the U.S., where they're now serving life sentences in the killings, the FBI official said. But Pham flew to Hong Kong from New York City weeks after the killing -- after first visiting Atlantic City -- and his last known whereabouts are in Bangkok, Thailand, in the 90s.
The FBI is hoping for any information about where the he might be, or even have been in the past, so he can be captured and tried on multiple charges in the U.S., including murder.
"We will never forget, and we will not rest until Hung Tien Pham is located, arrested and brought to justice," Bonavolonta said.
Pham was born in Vietnam and has family in the U.S. -- he left his wife and two children when he fled the country, officials said.
Lelling, the top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts, called Pham a "rising star" in the Ping On crime syndicate, which had a presence in other U.S. cities and Toronto, and said "the massacre likely spurred an escalating gang war in Chinatown" that took the cooperation of local, state and federal law enforcement to eventually tamp down.
While the news conference was not about the FBI's alert from Monday warning of calls for "peaceful armed protest" planned at all 50 states' capitols, the officials did speak about it when asked, reiterating that there are no known threats of violent activity locally but federal, state and local law enforcement are ready if that changes.
"We implore people to be our eyes and ears," Gross said. "This is our commonwealth. We are very cognizant of what happened in DC."
Massachusetts State Police said Monday they have received no specific threats against the State House or any other public venues in the state.
A representative of the FBI's Boston office told NBC News that it “is not in possession of any intelligence indicating any planned, armed protests at the four state capitals in our area of responsibility. (ME, MA, NH, and RI) from January 17-20, 2021.”
The Boston FBI spokesperson noted, “As always, we are in constant communication with our law enforcement partners and will share any actionable intelligence.”
A Massachusetts State Police spokesman also emphasized that the agency remains in contact with its partners at the federal, state and local levels, but, "To date, we are aware of no specific threat to government venues or to public safety generally in Massachusetts."
The agency will "continue to monitor all available intelligence over the coming days, will be prepared for any contingencies, and will adjust our security operations accordingly," spokesman Dave Procopio said in a statement.
Procopio added that there is a "rigorous, multi-layered security operation" in place to protect the Massachusetts State House, and that state police always aims to protect lives and property while letting people assemble lawfully during protests.
Police "will be prepared to protect the rights of freedom of assembly in our areas of jurisdiction provided those involved abide by the law and respect the rights, safety, and property of others," he said.
In the aftermath of the riot on Friday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and the leaders of the House and Senate issued a joint statement noted they were "aware of the need to ensure the safety of this building and those who work within it. We continually assess our security needs and will adjust as necessary."