The victim, My-Linh Nguyen, 45, was walking from the Othello light-rail station on Dec. 15 when she was attacked and shot on the sidewalk near her house.
The homicide investigation into the December shooting death of My-Linh Nguyen during a purse snatching in Seattle’s Rainier Valley went cold for eight months until a witness came forward in August and identified her alleged killer, according to Seattle police.
Arshawn Mason, 20, turned himself in to Seattle police Monday night, less than two weeks after police released his photo and identified him as a person of interest in Nguyen’s Dec. 15 homicide, jail and court records show.
A King County judge Tuesday ordered Mason held on investigation of homicide and robbery and set his bail at $2 million, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. Formal charges are expected to be filed Thursday.
Mason’s last known address is in Auburn, but police say he has no known fixed address and is unemployed, according to the statement of probable cause outlining the police case against him.
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The Seattle Times does not typically identify suspects until charges are filed but, Mason’s name and photo have been publicly released in connection with Nguyen’s homicide.
Nguyen, a 45-year-old wife and mother, worked at a downtown nail salon and was walking from the Othello light-rail station to her home near 39th Avenue South and South Warsaw Street when she was attacked on the sidewalk near her house, the statement says. She was dragged, stomped and shot multiple times by her assailant, who grabbed her purse and fled, according to the statement.
One of Nguyen’s co-workers later told police that she and Nguyen had talked about a rash of street robberies, many of them targeting people of Asian descent, and that one of their other co-workers had been a victim, the probable-cause statement says. She went on to tell police Nguyen believed she had been followed from the Othello station a week before she was killed, the statement says.
A sketch of the suspect was released to the media on Dec. 19 and while it yielded some tips from the public, “none of them led to the identification of the killer at that time,” the statement says. “All leads were exhausted and the case went cold until eight months later.”
On Aug. 23, information was passed to a homicide detective indicating that a cooperative witness had identified Mason as Nguyen’s killer, the statement says. Mason’s 2015 driver’s license photo “strikingly resembles the composite sketch,” it says.
Another witness also selected Mason’s photo from a police photo montage, according to police.
Accompanied by his attorney, Mason surrendered at Seattle police headquarters Monday night, the statement says.