Victim speaks out following Lowell break-in that turned violent, deadly

LOWELL, MASS. (WHDH) - A Lowell woman came forward Tuesday night to tell 7NEWS about the terrifying attack that occurred in her home Monday night when her ex-boyfriend allegedly forced his way in, tied her up and violently attacked her for hours. Police said the suspect attacked another man living in the building who later died.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous said that 38-year-old Hoeup Hunn, who is known to her, hid behind a door and forced her into a back room at a multi-family home on Queen Street.

“He tied me up,” she said. “He covered my mouth with a squishy ball.”

The woman said that is when Honn repeatedly raped her for hours before falling asleep, allowing the victim to flee the residence so she could use a neighbor’s phone to call the police.

“He said no it’s not your way why is it always your way it’s my way.”

Authorities said Honn also attacked the first-floor tenant who family members have identified as Heng Tan.

Prosecutor Chris Tarrant said he entered Tan’s apartment through a broken window.

“He punched him several times in the face, knocking him to the ground and then held him in a chokehold for approximately 45 seconds when he believes that the victim became lifeless,” Tarrant said in court.

Investigators said that after killing Tan, Honn used the victim’s cellphone to lure the woman back to her home.

“When questioned by police if the woman ever told him to stop, the defendant responded with, ‘Did I rape her? If that is what you want to call it,’” Tarrant said.

Police said that Honn allegedly saw the two together Sunday night but friends of the victim said there was no romantic relationship between them.

Tan had just moved into the home days before the alleged attack.

His body has been turned over the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Family members and friends of the man who was killed victim gathered together Monday night to light incense, a Cambodian tradition when someone dies.

They said he was an amazing father and grandfather.

As a local mechanic, he always wanted to help people in his community, they said.

He was “a very loving man and a very kind-hearted person. He never deserved anything like this,” Tan’s son said outside of the courthouse Tuesday.

Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Lowell Police Department and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the DA’s Office are actively investigating this case.

Authorities say that the assault and battery charge is likely to be upgraded to murder pending a report from the Medical Examiner.

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