A Houston gamer was in for a surprise when she heard real gunshots through her earbuds Lennart Preiss/dapd/AP Photo
Playing video game

Friends playing an online video game, including one from Houston, reported hearing shots at the Kansas home of one of their fellow players.

Ashley Martinez of Houston said she heard shots coming from the home of Cody Ha, a friend and video game partner, in Wichita, Kansas.

Martinez said she, Ha and two other players were playing a game Saturday night when they heard loud popping sounds through their earphones. The players asked each other what they heard. When one of them said they thought the sounds resembled gunshots, Martinez dismissed the idea “because you don’t expect to hear that.”

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When the players didn’t hear from Ha, one of them called his cellphone. The phone continued ringing, but Ha didn’t answer. Later that night, Ha’s sister returned home to find the bodies of her brother and mother, covered in blood. Martinez and the other players could hear her reaction through their earphones.

“She was panicking,” Martinez said. “She was on the phone. She said she didn’t want to touch them. She said she didn’t feel safe.”

The following morning, Martinez had an online chat with a Wichita homicide detective and related the details of what she had heard.

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While police have yet to make any arrests or propose any motives for the murders, a longtime friend of Ha’s told a Wichita newspaper the family had been selling prescription drugs out of the home. Tommy Ong, a friend and fellow gamer, told the paper Ha’s games would frequently be interrupted by people coming by the house to buy prescription medications.


Court records also show Ha’s mother, Huong Pham, had brushes with the law regarding altercations between her and a woman she claimed owed her $2,000.

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