3 men found dead in Roseville ruled murder-suicide; hallucinogenic drugs possible factor in killings

Authorities have ruled the deaths of three men who were found dead in a Roseville apartment over the weekend as a murder-suicide, noting hallucinogenic drugs may have been a contributing factor.

In a press release on Monday, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office preliminarily ruled the manner of deaths from the incident early Saturday morning as two homicides and a suicide. Meanwhile, a fourth man remains hospitalized in stable condition. 

Police responded to a welfare check at the 1600 block of Eldridge Avenue, where they found a man, identified as 33-year-old Nou Xiong, inside with a life-threatening cut to his throat. He was taken to a local hospital.

Xiong's girlfriend, who wasn't at the apartment at the time of the incident, called in the welfare check after Xiong texted her saying he was hurt and needed medical attention. She reported Xiong had been hanging out with his three friends in the apartment. 

Inside the apartment, police also found three men, who were all dead. The medical examiner released their identities and preliminary causes of death as follows:

  • John Thao, 32, died by sharp force, with his death ruled as a homicide.
  • Fong Vang, 32, died by sharp force and gunshot, with his death ruled as a homicide.
  • Meng Vang, 32, died by suicide caused by a gunshot. He's believed to be the suspect, and he lived at the apartment.

Xiong told police an "unprovoked Meng Vang" started attacking him with a knife, though he escaped to a bedroom to call for help. 

A GoFundMe page set up in memory of Fong Vang describes him as a "kind, humble, and loving young man."

Police have not identified a motive, though initial indications suggest hallucinogenic drugs may have been a contributing factor, though they did not specify what drug they believed was involved. The case is under investigation, and anyone with information is asked to contact police at 651-792-7008.

Roseville police noted that prior to this incident, there were no police-related calls to the apartment unit and no documented police contacts with the suspect. There were no reports of any disturbances inside the home the night of the incident. 

Victim remembered

One of the victims of a murder-suicide in Roseville over the weekend is being identified as a celebrated Hmong athlete.

John Thao, 32, was found dead inside a Roseville apartment early Saturday morning. He was one of three deceased individuals in the apartment, with a fourth man suffering a laceration to the throat but surviving.

Following news of his death, Thao was widely celebrated on social media as an exceptional Sepak Takraw player. Sepak Takraw is a popular Southeast Asian sport that’s best described as a mix between volleyball and soccer.

Thao was a member of the U.S. national team, traveling the globe to compete in various competitions.

"It's just such a shame because he had so many things going for him," said former teammate and coach Jeremy Mirken. "He was a great kid – just someone you would want in your life."

Mirken said Thao led them to many victories, most recently helping the team win two gold medals during their last tournament in South Korea in 2022. 

"He was polite, he was honest, and he pretty much always had a smile on his face," said Mirken.

Police said Monday that findings from the medical examiner indicate Thao died by homicide, as did 33-year-old Nou Xiong. Police say 32-year-old Meng Vang killed the men before dying by suicide. A fourth man was transported to the hospital with a laceration to his throat but is now in stable condition.