Monday, February 19, 2018

Man arrested in boy's shooting death during salon robbery

MIAMI — A 19-year-old man is accused of fatally shooting a 10-year-old boy during a robbery at a South Florida nail salon.

Miami-Dade police arrested Anthawn Ragan late Tuesday after a tipster led them to his sister's house, where they found him sitting on a sofa. Ragan, who turned 19 Tuesday, is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and battery on a police officer.

According to police, Ragan and an accomplice they're still trying to identify entered the Honk Kong Nail salon Friday and robbed the store and customers. As they were leaving, police say Ragan turned and fired two shots. One hit Aaron Vu and the other struck his father, Hai Vu, who owns the salon.

Police say surveillance video captured the two men taking items from customers and workers. As they were leaving, the video captured the face of one man, who police said is Ragan. The other man had his face covered by a red shirt.

Authorities blanketed the neighborhood with the photo and received around 100 tips.

The Miami Herald reports the elder Vu made a plea for the public's help in finding his son's killer just hours before Ragan's arrest.

"The question I ask every night since I was in the hospital is why," Vu said. "Why did this happen? Why couldn't this be me? They killed an innocent child."

Police say they won't stop looking for the accomplice.

Court records show Ragan was arrested in May 2012 on an armed robbery charge. He was not prosecuted as a young offender, and instead was sent to the Miami-Dade Boot Camp program, where he served several months.

Family members and friends attended a vigil at the salon in Aaron Vu's memory. Classmates, customers and friends lit candles, prayed and sang songs. They're encouraged that people have called police with tips.

"We will get justice for Aaron," said Thi Pham, Hai Vu's aunt.

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