Colleagues remember Round Rock woman killed in murder-suicide

Van Chau met friends Jess Gutierrez and Mary Stokes working at Walmart in Cedar Park. (Courtesy/Jess Gutierrez)
Van Chau met friends Jess Gutierrez and Mary Stokes working at Walmart in Cedar Park. (Courtesy/Jess Gutierrez)

CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — Friends and coworkers of the Round Rock woman authorities say was killed last week by her husband are remembering the woman they knew and loved through a makeshift memorial at their store, before she is laid to rest on Friday.

Law enforcement officers say Van Chau, 47, was shot and killed by her husband, Kiet Chau, 53, before he took his own life, on Dec. 29. Deputies with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office were called to the family’s home around 12:45 p.m. Deputies arrived at the home on Hunters Lodge Drive in the Vista Oaks subdivision to find both deceased with gunshot wounds.

“We can’t even express how good of a person she was. I can’t even put into words how good of a heart she had. That’s why when this happened and we heard about what happened, it was a total shock, because you never would have guessed at all that something like this would happen to her,” said Jess Gutierrez. “Never in a million years.”

Jess Gutierrez and Mary Stokes had been working with Van Chau the past year at Walmart in Cedar Park. Although they only knew her a short time, they say she had a big impact on their lives.

“She was the most warmhearted person. She was selfless; she would give literally the clothes off her back to help someone,” said Gutierrez. “That’s the type of person that I would want to be. I hope that there could be more people like her.”

Coworkers of Van Chau have posted this memorial at the front of their Walmart store in Cedar Park. (Courtesy/Jess Gutierrez)
Coworkers of Van Chau have posted this memorial at the front of their Walmart store in Cedar Park. (Courtesy/Jess Gutierrez)

Stokes says she and Chau would go to Bible study together. She told KXAN that although her dear friend has passed, she still believes she is with her.

“I feel like she’s my guardian angel. I do. I just feel her. She’s gone, but I still feel her,” said Stokes.

The women say they have set up a makeshift photo memorial at their store. It is complete with bright, yellow flowers to reflect the positive life their friend led. “More and more people come in, they’re seeing her smile and her face and I feel like we’re just helping spread her light a little more,” said Gutierrez.

Her friends say she was always smiling. That’s what everyone said about her.

“I know the kind of person she was, and I know that now, she’s at peace,” Gutierrez said.

The women, along with other Walmart colleagues who worked with Chau, are also planning to wear yellow to work Friday to represent their friend’s “sunshine” before they attend her funeral.

The friends want Chau’s children to know how many people their mother had an impact on during her lifetime and pray they can recover from this terrible tragedy.

“How many people were touched by her, it’s truly amazing. It truly is amazing how many people she reached out to, and I can only hope that her sons and daughters remember that and they don’t think of the whole thing that happened,” said Gutierrez. “I hope that her kids are able to move on from this.”

Friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe page for the couple’s children to offset funeral and living expenses.

Chau leaves behind five children–three sons and two daughters–and one grandchild.

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