A 27-year-old Everett man has been charged after allegedly shooting three people — and killing one — in a domestic-violence incident outside Boo Han Market in Edmonds last month, according to the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Duy Phuong Nguyen was charged Friday with first-degree murder, first-degree assault and first-degree domestic violence-related assault, prosecutors said. He was arraigned Monday, and is being held in lieu of $3 million.
Nguyen’s wife, a 24-year-old woman, was one of the victims in the Sept. 29 shooting, which occurred after she endured weeks of assaults from her husband, she told police. The other victims – a 23-year-old man and 20-year-old woman who were dating – were two of her friends who had tried to help her escape the abuse, according to the prosecutor’s office. The 20-year-old woman was killed in the shooting.
Nguyen and his wife got married about three years ago in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, prosecutors said. After getting married, Nguyen moved to his parents’ home in Everett, while his wife stayed in Vietnam until the end of July 2020, when he formally sponsored her visa, according to the charging documents.
When she moved in with her husband and his parents this summer, she started working with her mother-in-law at Boo Han Market. There, she befriended one of her co-workers, the 20-year-old female victim.
Shortly after Nguyen’s wife moved to Everett, he started hitting and assaulting her, prosecutors said.
She tried to call 911 after one of the assaults in early August, but while she was on the phone with a dispatcher, another woman — who prosecutors believe was Nguyen’s mother — took the phone and told the officer everything was OK, the charging documents said.
The dispatcher asked for their address, but the woman’s mother-in-law refused to say. When an Edmonds police officer responded to the area that night and tried calling the wife’s number, no one picked up, prosecutors said.
After the call, the wife’s home life “did not improve” and a couple weeks later, Nguyen’s family “kicked (her) out” of the house, according to the charging documents.
The woman told detectives she had confided in her friend from work, who offered to let her move into her Mountlake Terrace apartment while she saved up and could afford her own place, prosecutors said.
In mid-August, the woman moved in with her friend, who had told her boyfriend — the 23-year-old man who was the third shooting victim — about the continuous assault.
The woman told detectives that after she moved into her friend’s apartment, her husband started “tracking her movements.” For example, when she took the bus between work and home, she would see him “randomly appear” at her bus stops and at the Mountlake Terrace apartment, prosecutors said.
On Sept. 28, the night before the shooting, Nguyen allegedly followed her back to the apartment and sent her several threatening messages, implying he was planning to take some sort of action the next day.
“Tomorrow everything will end,” one of the messages said, according to the charging documents.
Worried, the woman and her friend decided the friend’s boyfriend would drive them to work at Boo Han the next day, and that he’d stay at the market during their shifts.
The next day, the boyfriend drove the two to work and stayed there until his girlfriend’s shift ended at 2 p.m. While Nguyen’s wife continued her shift at the market, the couple briefly left to run some errands.
Around 3 p.m., Nguyen showed up at Boo Han, but left after a few minutes.
After he left, his wife called her friends and the three decided to try and have a “productive conversation” with Nguyen, prosecutors said. Before the couple arrived back at the market, Nguyen returned, bought a few items, then left again.
He then returned to Boo Han for a third time, a few minutes after the couple arrived. Although his wife and her friends intended on talking to Nguyen, they changed their minds and instead decided it would be safest to involve the police.
Around 3:30 p.m., the three walked out of the store to call 911. About 50 seconds into the call, Nguyen walked out of the store and approached them, the store’s surveillance footage showed.
“Without breaking his stride, (Nguyen) removed a black handgun from his waistband and opened fire” at his wife and her friend, charging documents said. “For nearly 5 seconds, he calmly swept the barrel across all three while methodically firing about 12 rounds at them.” After shooting them, he walked away, charging documents said.
Because the shooting occurred while a police dispatcher was on the phone, the dispatcher immediately sent over four Edmonds police officers, who found the three victims bleeding on the ground.
The officers applied tourniquets and chest seals on them, attempting to control their bleeding until medics arrived. About 10 minutes later, the three were on their way to the hospital, prosecutors said.
The 20-year-old woman suffered gunshot wounds to her right arm and abdomen, an injury that required emergency surgery to stop internal bleeding, prosecutors said. She went into surgery after arriving at Harborview Medical Center, but died in the operating room.
Nguyen’s wife and the 23-year-old man also suffered several gunshot wounds, though both are expected to survive.
Later that night, while police were still searching for Nguyen, an Edmonds police detective received a call from a woman who said she was Nguyen’s mother, saying her son wanted to turn himself in.
Nguyen and his mother arrived at the Everett Police Department’s South Precinct, where officers took him into custody and transferred him to the Edmonds Police Department. Nguyen told detectives he was ready to “surrender,” and arresting officers later found a pistol in his mother’s car and another handgun in his car.
Nguyen’s next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 4.