Two arrested in Hougom murder - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Two arrested in Hougom murder

Posted: Updated: May 1, 2012 02:41 PM CDT
Kong Vue in La Crosse County Circuit Court Kong Vue in La Crosse County Circuit Court
Around 30 family members and friends of Sara Hougom in court Tuesday 5/1 Around 30 family members and friends of Sara Hougom in court Tuesday 5/1
Sara Hougom Sara Hougom
Kong Ryit Vue Kong Ryit Vue
Pao Choua T Vue Pao Choua T Vue

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The two men arrested in the shooting death of Sara Hougom are each jailed on $1 Million dollars bond.

Kong Vue and Pao Choua Vue appeared in La Crosse County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon. Both men were formally charged one count of First Degree Intentional Homicide and one count of Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide.

"It scares me that this was so random," said Hougom's roommate, Ashlee Lisney, following Tuesday's court appearances by Kong and Pao Choua Vue.  

"It's four o' clock in the afternoon and you don't lock your door. Most people don't anyway," she added. "But I guess this shows that you need to."

"It just sucks that she got picked, when the chances are one in a million," said Hougom's boyfriend, Scott Hogan. "It was just such a random act."  

The first charge is related to the shooting death of Sara Hougom and the second is for a drive-by shooting at a home on Island Street shortly before the fatal shooting.

Judge Todd Bjerke set bond for both men at $1 Million cash.

Kong Vue returns to court on Friday. He was not represented by an attorney at Tuesday's appearance. 

Pao Vue is back in court on May 9th for a preliminary hearing, or evidentiary hearing to determine if prosecutors have enough evidence for the case against him to go to trial.

If Kong Vue has an attorney by then, it is likely he'll be a part of the same hearing.

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - La Crosse Police have made two arrests in the murder of Sara Hougom. 

At a packed news conference at the La Crosse Police Department, which included Mayor Matt Harter, District Attorney, and a number of law enforcement officers, the announcement came that two men were arrested in the shooting death of Sara Hougom and also for the drive by shooting at a north side home earlier the same day.

The two in custody are Kong Ryit Vue and Pao Choua T Vue.  They are expected to appear in La Crosse County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon.  Charges include 1st Degree Intentional Homicide and Attempted Homicide for the north side shooting.

According to police, their investigation led to the two men.  Investigators used video surveillance cameras from area businesses to track the men around both crime scenes.

Additionally, Interim La Crosse Police Chief Robert Abraham said that Kong Ryit Vue told other people that he shot Hougom.  He was inside Hougom's apartment trying to steal money from her purse when Hougom confronted him.  She was then shot with a .22 handgun.  Two shell casings were found at the scene.

No reason was given yet for why the pair intentionally shot at the home on Island Street. 

Interim La Crosse Police Chief Robert Abraham said investigators determined the shooting was completely random.  He said 'this was a crime that made no sense'. 

No connection was found between the men and Hougom. 

There is a relationship between the men.  Pao Choua T Vue is Kong Ryit Vue's uncle. 

Abraham said that Pao Choua T Vue was already in custody awaiting sentencing on an unrelated criminal matter.  Kong Ryit Vue was arrested Monday in Milwaukee and returned to La Crosse.

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - La Crosse Police have called an 11am news conference regarding the murder of Sara Hougom murder.

Police also plan to give an update into a drive-by shooting at a north side home shortly before Hougom was shot in her apartment.

No other details have been released.

On March 26th, 9-1-1 received a call from Hougom saying she'd been shot in her Division Street apartment.  She was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System where she later died of her wounds.

Shortly before her call, police responded to a home on Island Street for a damaged window.  The damage was later determined to have come from a gunshot or shots. No one was hurt in that incident.

Since then, police investigators, along with the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation have been working the case. 

Friends of Hougom have established a reward fund of more than $11,000 for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the killer.

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