In a sentence handed down Friday, Duy Phuong Nguyen, 28, will spend the next 45 1/2 years in prison in connection with the Sept. 29, 2020 shooting at Edmonds’ Boo Han Market located in the 22600 block of Highway 99 in Edmonds. The shooting killed his estranged wife’s friend Thanh Vy Ly, a 20-year-old Mountlake Terrace woman. Nguyen also shot his wife, 24, and Ly’s boyfriend, 23.
On that day, Nguyen was recorded entering the Boo Han Market three separate times on video surveillance cameras. At approximately 3:30 p.m., he is seen leaving the store and, “without breaking his stride,” pulled a gun out of his waistband and shot around 12 rounds at the trio while they stood huddled outside of the market.
Ly was shot in the arm and abdomen and died from her injuries at Harborview Medical Center. According to court documents, in the ambulance, she told first responders,“My friend’s husband did this.” Nguyen’s wife was shot in the face and abdomen and Ly’s boyfriend suffered five shots to both legs and his lower right abdomen.
Nguyen initially fled the scene but later that day turned himself in at the Everett Police Department South Precinct. He has been in custody in the Snohomish County Jail since that time. (Read additional details in our coverage of the crime here)
Charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of assault, Nguyen pled not guilty at his Oct. 23, 2020 arraignment, but last month formally changed his plea to guilty as his trial was set to begin.
Originally all three charges carried a firearm enhancement, but according to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Corinne Klein, given the defendant’s age, lack of prior criminal history, and decision to plead guilty, the prosecutors and defense agreed to drop the firearm enhancement on the second assault count.
Because these are serious, violent offenses, the sentences on the three charges cannot run concurrently, so Nguyen will serve them consecutively. Additionally, the two firearm enhancements add an additional five years each to the time he must serve – and according to Klein, these must be served first.
“Mr. Nguyen will not begin serving time for the murder and assault crimes until both firearm enhancements are completely served,” explained Klein. “This means his first 10 years in prison will be spent serving the two firearms enhancements.”
Nguyen’s 45 1/2-year sentence breaks down as follows:
- 20 years for one count of first-degree murder
- 15 1/2 years for two counts of first-degree assault (7 3/4 years each)
- 10 years for two firearms enhancements (five years each)
Prisoners who conduct themselves well while incarcerated may earn “good time,” which can reduce their time served by 10%. But it is important to note that good time provisions do not apply to firearms enhancements, which must be served at straight time. This means Nguyen will not be able to begin earning good time until after serving his first 10 years.
“It is possible that with good time Mr. Nguyen could finish his sentence in just shy of 42 years,” explained Klein. “This would release him just in time for his 70th birthday.”
Once released, Nguyen would be required to report regularly for 36 months of community custody. Also upon his release he would be required to register as a felony firearms offender.
— By Larry Vogel