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Ex-UC Irvine student threw his mother off a campus building and then jumped to his death, police say

Irvine police identified the mother and son Wednesday as Thao Thai Nguyen, 77, and Andrew Nguyen Doan, 36.

A former University of California, Irvine, student threw his mother off a campus building before jumping to his death earlier this week in a case police are investigating as a murder-suicide, authorities said.

The bodies were found on the ground outside 214 Pereira Drive, a plaza in the School of Social Sciences, just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

When officers arrived to the scene, they found both of them dead.

Irvine police identified the mother and son Wednesday as Thao Thai Nguyen, 77, and Andrew Nguyen Doan, 36.

Social Science Plaza on the campus of the University of California Irvine, UCI.
The Social Science Plaza on the campus of the University of California, Irvine. Steve Cukrov / Alamy

"The investigation has determined Doan picked up Nguyen and threw her off the landing of a multistory building. Doan then jumped from the same landing to his death," police said.

A motive remains under investigation. 

Police said they have a record of contacting Doan multiple times in the past, with the last call for service in 2019 regarding “mental health concerns.” He last attended UC Irvine in 2019. 

Doan had studied biological sciences at UC Irvine from September 2017 to June 2019, but did not graduate, a school spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times.

On Tuesday, Chancellor Howard Gillman said the university was cooperating with the police investigation. 

“At such a time, our primary thoughts are with the victims and their families. But there are also members of the UCI community who have been contacted to assist with the investigation and to share their knowledge of what may have happened," he said in a statement.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.