Bao Yang tried to get away from her abusive ex-boyfriend many times, but couldn't because he was so relentless and obsessive.
On Saturday, after nearly two years of threats and harassment, the 39-year-old Minnesota mother of two was killed by her ex-boyfriend, a registered sex offender she'd accused of raping her and shaving her head, in an apparent murder-suicide, say police.
"She is believed to have been shot by Doua Por Lao, 39, who later took his own life," the Saint Paul Police Department says in a statement.
On Saturday at about 8:30 a.m., police responded to a call about a shooting at her home at 1920 E. Montana Ave. and found Yang and Lao in the front yard, suffering from gunshot wounds, the department says in a separate news release.
Lao was pronounced dead at the scene. Yang was rushed to a local hospital where she later died, the Pioneer Press reports.
Officers found a shotgun and a handgun at the scene.
A single mother with two sons, 21 and 11, Yang worked several jobs to support her children while going to school to become a licensed registered nurse, her oldest son, Vichai Vang, wrote in a poignant GoFundMe set up to help defray funeral costs.
"All she ever wanted was to raise my little brother in the best life she could give him," Vang wrote. "I could see how much stress she carried every day but still always managed to provide for my brother and I."
It's unclear how Yang met Lao, a level-three registered sex offender, considered the highest risk to public safety, the Pioneer Press reports.
Lao was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child in 2003 and for domestic abuse in 2011, Wisconsin court records show, the Pioneer Press and ABC 5 report. He was released from prison in 2014.
It's also unclear how long Yang and Lao dated, but their relationship was marked by violence and harassment after she broke up with him in 2019, police records show, the Pioneer Press and ABC 5 report.
Police were called to her home 15 times in the last year allegedly because of Lao, police reports show, the outlets report.
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In 2019, he was arrested and accused of raping her and shaving her head, but she later dropped the charges out of fear of Lao, ABC 5 reports.
In February, she filed a petition for an order of protection for her family because Lao had allegedly sent naked pictures of her to her ex-husband, with whom she was enmeshed in a custody battle, and had "made numerous threats of sextortion and harm," the petition says, ABC 5 reports.
"I got scared of what he would do," she wrote in the petition. "He has expressed to me verbally and through text messages that he won't stop and is not afraid of authorities."
In February, Lao was arrested on suspicion of felony criminal sexual conduct and felony non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images, ABC 5 reports.
On March 1, he was released on $10,000 bail and continued to harass her, ABC 5 and the Pioneer Press report.
Less than three weeks later, he went to her house and killed her and then himself.
As police continue to investigate, Yang's family and friends continue to mourn her loss.
"My mom was a very caring person," Vang wrote in his post. "She was always smiling and always laughing. She was so full of life.
"Her life was taken too soon and we are all still grieving and in shock."
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
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