John Huynh was stabbed in the heart Sunday evening, roughly one minute after stopping to talk to a fellow resident of his Bothell apartment building who had flipped him off for unknown reasons, according to King County prosecutors. Huynh died at the scene.

Ian Williams — who didn’t know Huynh and hadn’t had any previous disputes with him — was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder with a deadly weapon and remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail, court and jail records show. Williams, 25, does not appear to have any criminal history, according to prosecutors. He is to be arraigned May 12.

Court records do not yet show which attorney is representing Williams.

Huynh’s wife and two friends were among the people who witnessed the stabbing, which was partially captured by video-surveillance cameras, the charges say.

According to an online wedding website, Huynh and his wife were married in Renton in November. A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $60,000 to provide financial support to Huynh’s wife and parents.

In a brief phone conversation, one of Huynh’s sisters said the family, who live in Pennsylvania, boarded a plane to Seattle on Tuesday evening.


The charges say Huynh and two friends walked out of the Villas at Beardslee apartments in the 19100 block of 112th Avenue Northeast just before 7:30 p.m. Sunday, heading to a car parked out front where Huynh’s wife was already waiting. A man gave the trio the middle finger and Huynh stopped to ask the man if he had flipped Huynh off or waved to him, say charging papers.

The two men stood facing each other, 4 or 5 feet apart, when the other man lunged forward, stabbed Huynh in the chest, then ran back into the building, say the charges. One of Huynh’s friends ran to him and put pressure on the wound as witnesses called 911 and alerted a Bothell police officer, who was across the street, charging papers say.

A short time later, a woman approached a police officer and said her son had been involved and needed medical attention for a cut to his hand; she gave the officer a key to her third-floor unit and police entered the apartment and arrested Williams in a bedroom, according to the charges.

Police later obtained a warrant to search the apartment and found a folding knife with blood on the blade in the bathroom, say the charges.

In a statement to police, Williams’ mother said her son had run into their apartment yelling for her and “told her that an anti-masker had attacked him,” a Bothell police detective wrote in charging papers. “She told him to show her where he was hurt and he initially said he was not hurt but he thought he hurt the other guy.”

She told police her son normally carries a knife for protection and to open boxes, the charges say.


In describing the video footage, the detective wrote that Huynh and his friends exited the lobby doors three minutes after Williams and as Huynh walked by Williams, something drew his attention and the two men were seen facing each other, according to the charges.

“Their arms are not raised and they do not make physical contact,” the detective wrote of the footage. “Suddenly, Ian Williams makes a thrusting motion toward Huynh and Huynh stumbles backward.”

When Williams ran back inside the lobby, the footage showed him still holding a knife in his right hand, the charges say.