Crime

Getaway car in fatal shooting of Puyallup store owner has been found

Hundreds gather for vigil for Soon Ja Nam

Hundreds of friends, family, and community members gathered for a candlelight vigil for Soon Ja Nam at Handy Corner Store in Puyallup. Nam was killed during a robbery of the store Saturday night.
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Hundreds of friends, family, and community members gathered for a candlelight vigil for Soon Ja Nam at Handy Corner Store in Puyallup. Nam was killed during a robbery of the store Saturday night.

The getaway car used by two robbers who fatally shot a 79-year-old woman in the back after holding up her Puyallup convenience store has been found, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators said only that the Nissan Sentra was found Sunday outside the county and is being processed for evidence.

No arrests have been made.

Soon Ja Nam was working at the Handy Corner Store, 8009 112th St. E, when two men walked in just after 5 p.m. Saturday, pulled out handguns and demanded money.

After Nam gave the men cash from the register, one of them followed her toward the store’s office and shot her in the back.

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Soon Ja Nam Pierce County Sheriff's Department

Both robbers were described as dark-complexioned black men in their 20s, about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. They wore beanies and white hospital-style surgical masks during the robbery.

The shooter wore a gray hoodie, black sweatpants and gray tennis shoes. The driver had a scruffy beard and was wearing a blue hoodie, gray sweatpants and white shoes.

Detectives asked the public to check their home and business cameras on 112th Street East between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Saturday for any possible leads on the getaway car or suspects.

A tip led investigators to the Nissan, but the robbers’ identities remain unknown.

Hundreds turned out Sunday for a vigil in Nam’s honor.

Her son, Tohyon Nam, urged the crowd not to cry.

“Soon never cried in front of any of you, right?” he asked, as some in the crowd chuckled and nodded. “You gotta come and shop. That’s all I care about, seeing your smiley faces once or twice a day.”

Regular customers said Soon Ja Nam was friendly and caring, always asking how your day was and sometimes offering drinks or snacks to those who didn’t have enough money to pay for them.

Anyone with information about the robbery and shooting is asked to call Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 (TIPS).

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