An argument over a cell phone led to the killing of a 29-year-old Seattle man, who was shot outside a South Seattle laundromat on Jan. 20 and died soon after he was transported to Harborview Medical Center, according to King County prosecutors.

Johnny Ngo, who will turn 22 on Wednesday, was charged Monday with second-degree murder in connection with the death of Davis Manivanh, as well as second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen vehicle, court records show.

Ngo was arrested Jan. 27 at a gas station on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, where two Seattle police homicide detectives found him with a stolen car, according to prosecutors. Ngo’s fingerprints were also found on the sunroof of a different stolen car, recovered by police in the 3000 block of South Holly Street on Jan. 26.

He remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.

“Johnny Ngo shot and killed Davis Manivanh when he got upset during an argument over a cell phone. Ngo’s willingness to resort to lethal violence to settle a trivial dispute demonstrates the risk Ngo presents to the public — and, in particular, to the local homeless community,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jason Simmons wrote in the charges.

It is unclear from the charges whether Ngo is currently homeless, though he was recently living in a tent in South Seattle. It appears from the charges that Manivanh and at least two witnesses were homeless. The four men all knew each other.

Though Ngo doesn’t have any prior convictions, Simmons wrote in charging papers that Ngo admitted to shooting at one of the witnesses weeks before Manivanh was killed, and pistol-whipping a second witness on two prior occasions.


Court records do not yet indicate which attorney is representing Ngo.

According to the charges, Manivanh and two other men confronted Ngo about a cell phone they believed Ngo had stolen.

Ngo claimed another man had the cell phone and police say he later told detectives he shot Manivanh because he was angry over being accused of taking the phone, say the charges.

Based on video-surveillance footage, Seattle police say Ngo and one witness fled the shooting scene in separate vehicles while the second witness stayed to render aid to Manivanh, who was shot once in the abdomen, according to the charges. Another man who was waiting on his laundry also called 911 and provided a statement to police, say the charges.