LYNNFIELD -- The "horrible scourge'' of domestic violence has claimed the life of a mother who ran an East Boston nail salon and her younger sister, a recent graduate of a prestigious Connecticut college who was hoping to become a doctor, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said today.
Blodgett today provided those details about Kimberly Nguyen, 35, and her sister, Lilly J. Nguyen, 29. He said both were murdered Monday night by Kimberly Nguyen's long-time boyfriend, Joseph Cummings, who then shot himself to death in the master bedroom.
Kimberly Nguyen was six months pregnant with Cummings's child and was the mother of a 12-year-old girl who was home at the time of the killings. The girl managed to escape to a neighbor's house where she called 911 at 9:58 p.m. The surviving child is with relatives at an undisclosed location, Blodgett said today.
Blodgett said the violence began with an argument between Cummings and Kimberly inside the second floor master bedroom.
"There may have been an argument over the name of the child,'' Blodgett said, adding that the issues the couple argued about is still being investigated.
According to Blodgett, neighbors reported that they often heard loud arguing coming from the home where all three adults and the 12-year-old lived. He said, however, that police were never called to investigate the circumstances during the last two years.
Blodgett said Cummings, 51, was an East Boston native who worked as a carpenter or a general contractor.
"We do our best in law enforcement to combat… the horrible scourge'' of domestic violence, Blodgett said. "This is another needless, senseless domestic violence tragedy ending in three deaths.''
Police recovered two handguns, including a .45-caliber handgun. Blodgett said Cummings did not have a valid license to carry a firearm, but had previously been issued one while he was living in Melrose. That permit had expired, Blodgett said.
Blodgett said the violence began with an argument between Cummings and Kimberly inside the second floor master bedroom. Cummings, at some point, then shot Kimberly.
Lilly Nguyen heard the gunshots and jumped out a second floor window, Blodgett said. As she was trying to run away, Cummings shot and killed her, he said.
Cummings then returned to the master bedroom where he shot himself.
The 12-year-old, who was "frozen in fear'' at one point, ran to a neighbor's house and safety, he said. She is not Cummings's child, he said.