Police: Marysville shooter killed friend in confrontation at his car

Prescription drug use made Khoa Nguyen, 36, unpredictable, an acquaintance told police. Nguyen was held on $1 million bail.


MARYSVILLE — Police say a Granite Falls man killed his longtime friend in Marysville on Monday night after previously trying to steal from the victim.

About a month ago, Khoa Nguyen, 36, came to the Hallmark House Apartments on 47th Avenue NE, according to Marysville detective Wade Rediger’s report. Nguyen’s friend reportedly let him into the apartment because Nguyen said he needed to lay low after just shooting someone. A witness told investigators she believed Nguyen bought drugs from the friend.

The friend, a 37-year-old man, saw Nguyen loading the friend’s electric bike into his red Honda Pilot, a witness told investigators. The friend confronted Nguyen, who also put other items into the SUV as he apparently tried to steal them, according to Rediger’s report. The friend was upset.

He and Nguyen reportedly hadn’t talked since.

Around 9:40 p.m. Monday night, Nguyen came back to the Hallmark House Apartments in his Pilot, according to police. The friend told his girlfriend he wasn’t going to answer the door. He didn’t want to deal with Nguyen again.

But after realizing he left his phone in his car, the man walked to the parking lot to retrieve it. While there, he told Nguyen to leave, Rediger wrote in his report. The girlfriend reported hearing a physical fight between the two men.

When the man got back to his apartment, he reportedly told his girlfriend he was going back outside so Nguyen could show him something.

Surveillance footage shows the man approach the Honda Pilot with one person inside, according to the detective’s report. He reportedly talks with Nguyen through the window when two flashes appear on the video. The man falls back. The gunman gets out of the car, walks over to the man and runs back to the driver’s side before fleeing.

Hearing the gunshots, the girlfriend called out for her boyfriend. She went outside and found him on the ground. She called 911 to report the shooting, according to the police report.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the victim had not been publicly identified.

An acquaintance reported to police that prescription drug use has made Nguyen unpredictable. The acquaintance didn’t know if he owned any guns, but his friend had a handgun he could get, court papers say.

The victim’s girlfriend reportedly told investigators Nguyen lived off Highway 92 in Granite Falls.

In the early morning hours Thursday, authorities swarmed Nguyen’s property in the 8600 block of Highway 92. The red Honda Pilot was in a carport under a tarp, according to police.

Investigators were able to identify Nguyen because he responded to his name. He asked to speak to his parents. Ten minutes later, he told law enforcement he needed 20 more minutes before surrendering. Nguyen reported he needed to charge his cellphone, while holding a gun to his head, police alleged.

A couple hours later, Nguyen surrendered to a SWAT team. Police arrested him for investigation of second-degree murder and unlawful firearm possession.

Detectives found a bullet casing for a 9 mm round in the Pilot’s passenger seat. The casing matched a loaded gun Nguyen had, according to Rediger’s report.

In 2009, Nguyen was convicted in Snohomish County Superior Court of taking a motor vehicle without permission, a felony. That conviction barred him from owning guns. In 2020, he was convicted of unlawful firearm possession. Judge Edirin Okoloko sentenced him to five days in jail.

Nguyen did not appear at a planned court hearing Wednesday. Still, at the hearing, Everett District Court Judge Tam Bui found probable cause for second-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm. Bui set bail at $1 million. If Nguyen posts bail, he will be required to get a mental health screening, the judge ruled.

The defendant was scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

Michael Henneke: 425-339-3431; michael.henneke@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @ihenpecked.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the Cascade Range and Olympic Mountains on Wednesday. (Provided by the National Weather Service)
Red flag warning issued for eastern Snohomish County through Wednesday

The National Weather Service says critical fire conditions are either imminent or occurring now.

Traffic camera shows Everett and Marysville firefighters on the scene of a crane accident along northbound I-5 near milepost 198 Tuesday evening. (Provided photo)
Two workers fall from I-5 bridge Tuesday evening

The workers were in a “cherry picker” type bucket when it tipped over. One man fell 60 feet into the water and was taken to the hospital.

Everett motorcyclist dies on Highway 99

Alexis Hernandez Cerritos was riding south on Highway 99 when a car driving north turned in front of him.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett’s rival minimum wage proposals: Second group submits signatures

Supporters from Raise the Wage Responsibly said their proposal strikes a balance between employees and employers.

Components of downtown Marysville’s new stormwater treatment facility can be seen from the walkway on Thursday, July 11, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. While much of the treatment and filtering happens out of sight, visitors of the area will see troughs, left, spilling water out onto the surrounding landscape, which soaks up the filtered water before it makes its way into a nearby lagoon. Overflow grates, right, help alleviate flooding during heavy rains. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
At new Marysville water treatment facility, plants filter out pollutants

City officials expect the $14 million project to clean 110 million gallons of water every year, reducing harm to wildlife.

Everett man sentenced to jail for threatening to bomb car dealership

The sentencing of Michael Harsh comes over two years after he threatened to bomb an Evergreen girls basketball game.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.