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A man accused of killing his mother by stabbing her to death with a butcher knife, and critically injuring his father in the same attack in San Juan Capistrano, is now facing murder and attempted murder charges, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Yihong Peng, 30, has also been charged with attempted carjacking as he allegedly tried stealing the car of a bystander during the same attack — fighting and injuring the person with a knife, the DA’s office said.

The announcement of the charges comes just four days after the night of the deadly attack.

Yihong Peng, 30, appears in a booking photo released by the Orange County Sheriff's Department on March 31, 2018.
Yihong Peng, 30, appears in a booking photo released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department on March 31, 2018.

On the morning of the incident, Peng was allegedly “behaving oddly” at a fitness center in San Juan Capistrano, prosecutors said in a news release. What that behavior entailed was not explained by prosecutors in the news release.

But they said Orange County sheriff’s deputies were called to the gym and gave Peng a ride home. Later that same day is when Peng is accused of attacking his mother, Wei Ping Shen, 59, and his father, who is 59 but has not been identified by authorities.

Sometime that evening, just outside the family’s home, Peng allegedly started to verbally argue with his parents. Prosecutors said at some point he held up a butcher knife, chasing his parents into the street while armed with it.

He stabbed both his mother and father multiple times, according to prosecutors.

His mother died from wounds she sustained during the brutal attack, while his father was left critically injured, officials said. During the same attack, Peng is also accused of approaching a man sitting inside a car just outside the family’s home and trying to stab him through the car’s window. He is also accused of trying to carjack a bystander, who fought him and suffered several cuts from the knife.

Neighbors eventually contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and deputies were called to the scene in an area of Ortega Highway and La Novia Avenue around 10:30 p.m.

When deputies and emergency responders arrived, they tried performing “extensive life-saving efforts” on Ping Shen, officials said. But she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, Peng’s father was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition, prosecutors said.

Officials said Peng could be seen trying to flee from the scene as law enforcement arrived.  He was eventually arrested somewhere near his home.


Peng has now been charged with murder, assault with a deadly weapon and attempted carjacking as well as two attempted murder charges. He faces a possible maximum sentence of 44 years to life in state prison.

Prosecutors did not say when his next court appearance will be.