Police Officer Cuong Huy "Tony" Trinh

Police Officer Cuong Huy "Tony" Trinh

Houston Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, April 6, 1997

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Cuong Huy "Tony" Trinh

Officer Cuong Trinh was shot and killed while off duty when he was identified as a police officer during a robbery.

He was working at a store owned by his parents when an armed suspect jumped over the counter and took money out of the cash register. He then demanded Officer Trinh's wallet. When he opened the wallet he saw Officer Trinh's badge and police identification. Officer Trinh then told the man to leave or he would be arrested. The suspect responded by shooting Officer Trinh in the head, killing him.

The shooter was arrested and sentenced to death. The getaway driver was also apprehended.

Officer Trinh was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served with the Houston Police Department for 2-1/2 years. He is survived by his fiancee, parents, and brother. His fiancee and brother also went on to serve as a police officers.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 2 years, 6 months
  • Badge 5891
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to death

off duty, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

View all 27 Reflections

Today I found an old friend in a terrible way. On Feb 20, 1990, I hopped on a plane on my way to San Diego, California for Navy boot camp. There were two guys with me that day, Joe Ritchie and Coung Trinh. After boot camp, I lost track of Joe when he left for his service school. Coung and I went to Millington Tennessee for our schools. From what I remember, he went on to be an Aviation Ordnanceman. After our service school, I lost track of Coung once we hit the fleet and it is a big Navy. I found Coung today while visiting the Houston Police Officer's Memorial with my family. His name is etched on top of the memorial. Coung was shot and killed on April 6, 1997. Apparently Coung completed his tour in the US Navy and then joined HPD. He was a great guy. I always wondered where he was and what he was doing today. I was talking with Lisa today and it's funny how when you remember someone from your past, you imagine them out there, living life and enjoying every day. I feel stupid knowing now that his life ended years ago. Rest easy old friend. I am so sorry it took me this long to find out what happened to you. What a strange twist of fate that I would visit this place today for no apparent reason and finally reconnect with you.

SPO Israel Billy Pina
Austin Police Department/US Navy

November 24, 2017

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