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Teen charged in murder of Puyallup store owner

Scene of the shooting on Saturday. (Pierce County Sheriff's Dept.)

A 16-year-old Federal Way High School student was charged on Friday for the murder of a 79-year-old store owner.

Store owner shot, killed in robbery near Puyallup
Detectives track down teen suspects in murder of Puyallup store owner

Robbrie Thompson is charged with seven felony counts, including aggravated murder in the first degree, robbery, and unlawful possession of a firearm. Court documents say he was the getaway driver when he and a classmate robbed the Handy Corner Market in Puyallup on Saturday, April 27.

Investigators say the two teens pulled guns on the owner, Soon Ja Nam, and shot her in the back as she called out to her husband. According to witnesses, the suspects fled the scene in a gray 4-door Nissan Sentra. Detectives found the car on Sunday.

Thompson was arrested in a parking lot in Northeast Tacoma, without incident, early Wednesday morning. The other suspect, Franklin Thuo, was found shot to death. His body washed up on the shoreline near Chinook Landing Marina along Marine View Drive on Monday morning.

Just a half hour before the shooting, police say the two teens posted a video on Snapchat, waving guns, and wearing masks and gloves.

In an interview with KIRO Radio on Monday, Pierce County Detective Ed Troyer had said that the outpouring of love for the Handy Corner from the neighborhood had been stronger than any community response to tragedy that he has ever seen.

“It’s the community support that helped us solve this case so quickly,” he said.

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