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‘Teacher of the Year’ Found Shot To Death In Her Backyard: Police

Wendy Duan

Teacher Wendy Duan was shot and killed at her home Jan. 7, 2023, police say. (Screenshot via her Facebook page)

Police say an elementary school teacher was shot and killed at her home this weekend. They did not identify a suspect, though they say they know who he is.

Officers in Sugar Land, Texas, identified the slain woman as Wendy Duan, 28, of the Alief Independent School District.

“Sugar Land police responded to a shooting Saturday at 9:50 p.m. in the 1100 block of Oxford Mills Lane,” Sugar Land city spokesman Doug B. Adolph told Law&Crime in an email. “Neighbors told police they heard shots fired. When officers arrived, they found a 28 year woman dead in the backyard with multiple gunshot wounds. The woman lived alone at the house and no one else was there when police arrived.

“Based on the investigation, detectives believe the shooting was related to domestic violence,” Adolph wrote. “A male suspect has been identified. His identity is not being shared at this time to protect the integrity of the homicide investigation. The woman’s family has been notified. She has been identified as Wendy Duan, an elementary teacher who works for Alief ISD. The investigation is ongoing.”

One neighbor, Tony Thomas, was at home when, “Out of nowhere, just four very distinct gunshots is what I heard, and it was quite scary at the moment, so I dropped everything I was doing, came outside,” told KTRK.

Duan taught third-grade reading and language arts at Boone Elementary School in nearby Houston. She worked with the Alief Independent School District since 2017.

“We are deeply saddened to learn about the tragic passing of Alief ISD employee Wendy Duan,” the school district reportedly said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.”

“I still can’t believe that I won ESL teacher of the year lol,” Duan wrote in a Dec. 16, 2021 post on Facebook. “The whole time I kept telling people that there’s no way that I would win, especially going against other teachers who have been teaching way longer than I have. Thanks to the people who believed in me and voted for me!”

“It’s very sad about that because she’s very young and vibrant,” neighbor Saly Thomas told KHOU. “It’s very sad. We’re all very sad about it.”

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