Woman killed in 'random' home invasion

A woman who was killed in an apparently random home invasion in Markham, Ont., was shot several times along with her husband, police say, while the couple's daughter was tied up as men ransacked the house.
Chief Armand La Barge, left, addresses the media with two of his officers from York Regional Police. ((Patrick Morrell/CBC))

A woman who was killed in an apparently random home invasion in Markham, Ont., on Monday night was shot multiple times along with her husband, police said.

The woman, Bich-Ha Pan, 53, died of her injuries at the scene.

Three men entered the home on Helen Avenue in the Highway 407 and Kennedy Road area and confronted Pan, her husband Huei Hann Pan, 57, and their 24-year-old daughter and demanded money, York Regional Police said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. They entered through the front door, police confirmed.

The three assailants are described by York police as male and black. One spoke with a Caribbean accent, police said.


Do you have questions about home security? Submit them here.

"The daughter was tied up and separated from her parents at that time and the suspects spent approximately one half-hour in the house, searching it for cash and valuables," said Chief Armand La Barge.

The three suspects then fled the scene on foot. Police aren't sure what was taken from the home.

The couple's daughter wasn't hurt.

La Barge said the home invasion was "random in the sense that there doesn't appear to have been any known motive for these individuals to have been targeted."

It's "entirely possible" that it may have been a case of mistaken identity,  La Barge said, but "we won't know that until such time as we bring these three individuals to justice.

'Fortunate we are not dealing with 2 homicides'

"It's safe to say … given the nature of this crime that they pose a significant danger to this community and to any other community in the GTA," said  La Barge.

"And we're very fortunate we are not dealing with two homicides here."

Police closed down a street in Markham, Ont., to carry out an investigation into a home invasion that left a 53-year-old woman dead.

Police also showed reporters a grainy surveillance video that shows a vehicle parked outside the couple's home. The vehicle is shown leaving westbound on Helen Avenue at around 10:30 p.m. ET, around the time when the couple's daughter managed to free herself and called 911.

Police said the suspects may have used the vehicle after leaving the house.

Huei Hann Pan, meanwhile, managed to make his way to a neighbour's home and was taken to hospital. Police said his injuries were not life-threatening.

An autopsy on Bich-Ha Pan was expected Wednesday.

Huei Hann Pan was employed as a tool-and-die maker, while Bich-Ha Pan was unemployed. The couple also has a son, who is away pursuing post-secondary studies.

"The wife was very home-orientated," said real estate agent Gino Circosta, who sold the family their home. "She was always very proud of her house and her kids … and the father was a hard-working guy."

Neighbours said they were surprised by the commotion in what is normally a quiet area.

"I was just going to bed when I saw the [police] lights going on and I said, 'What's going on?'" said neighbour Rudy Ip. "I saw cops searching in the backyard with lights and helicopters searching around."