In an effort to help a 26-year-old Baltimore woman whose mother was shot to death outside Howard County Circuit Courthouse last week, an attorney sought yesterday to establish a fund to pay for medical, funeral and personal expenses.
Tuse S. Liu, 49, of Columbia is accused of shooting his estranged wife, So Shan Chan, 52, and her daughter Wing Sau Wu of Baltimore in the courthouse parking lot minutes after a divorce ruling. Chan was pronounced dead an hour later at Howard County General Hospital.
Wu was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where her condition was upgraded yesterday from serious to fair.
Joseph F. Gaffigan, an attorney who represented Chan, contacted NationsBank yesterday to set up a fund for Chan and Wu's family, saying he wants to do his part to help.
"I did it because I care," said Gaffigan, who witnessed the shooting. "While I can't undo what happened last Thursday, I can do something about what happens today and tomorrow."
Gaffigan said he is working out the details of the fund and doesn't have an address for sending contributions. He hopes to have the fund operating this week.
Donations would initially go toward Wu's medical expenses and Chan's funeral expenses. Additional donations would help pay for Wu's personal and schooling expenses once she leaves Maryland Shock Trauma, Gaffigan said.
Police believe Wu may have been shot trying to protect her mother, said Sgt. Morris Carroll, a county police spokesman.
Gaffigan said he would like officials to re-examine security measures at the courthouse, saying there should be added surveillance outside. Metal detectors lead into the building, and the sheriff's department patrols outside the building, said Chief Deputy Sheriff Scott Mergenthaler.
Mergenthaler said the department is investigating its courthouse security. "We are looking at whether there are further security measures needed," he said.
Liu was charged Friday with five offenses, including first- and second-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. Howard County District Judge Neil E. Axel agreed last week to grant a state-requested psychological evaluation of Liu.
Pub Date: 3/16/99