Teenager charged as an adult in robbery, murder of Puyallup store owner

TACOMA -- Prosecutors charged a 16-year-old murder suspect as an adult in the robbery and killing of a beloved Puyallup store owner.

According to charging documents filed Friday in Pierce County Superior Court, Robbrie Thompson is charged with eight counts ranging from robbery to aggravated murder. Q13 News does not typically name juvenile suspects, but Thompson has been charged as an adult.

Thompson is one of two suspects accused of robbing and shooting Handy Corner Store owner Soon Ja Nam on April 27.

The body of the second suspect washed ashore Monday at Chinook Landing Marina. The medical examiner’s office ruled the death of Franklin Thuo, 16, of Federal Way, a homicide. Investigators said the teen died of a single gunshot wound and had been in the water for several hours. Police have not said whether they have any suspects in the teen’s death.

On Wednesday, police arrested Thompson in a parking lot in northeast Tacoma. Officers arrested the teen and booked him into the Pierce County Jail, but he was transferred to Remann Hall Pierce County Juvenile Detention Center.

Witnesses told investigators two men entered the store, pulled out handguns and threatened the 79-year-old store owner, but even after she gave them the money one of them shot her in the back.

Thompson was also charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree conspiracy to commit robbery, two counts of second-degree assault, and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Robbrie Thomspon appears in court on May 2, 2019. (Q13 News photo)

Searching for a better life

Soon Ja Nam escaped from North Korea more than 50 years ago in search of a better life.

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