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Dozens gather to honor slain Lakewood store owner: ‘It’s overwhelming’

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LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- The Lakewood community came together Wednesday to honor the life of a beloved convenience store owner who was killed during a robbery. 

In Choe was stabbed and killed during a late-night robbery Monday at McChord Mart.

Standing outside the store where the crime occurred, Choe’s family and the Lakewood community celebrated the life of the 59-year-old grandmother.

"It's overwhelming, the amount of people here that came to show support for my mom," said Choe's daughter Hannah Choe.

Hannah was joined by her sister Angela and brother Elijah at the memorial. To them, Choe is their mom, and the Lakewood community also had a similar name for her.

"She acts like a mama, she takes care of everyone," Hannah said.

This community all knew Choe as 'mama.' She was a convenience store owner, but for so many shopping there was more than a quick stop.

"My mom stopped and looked people in the eyes, and asked them how they felt and saw them," said Angela Choe.

In Choe cared for members of the community regardless of who they were, her children said.

“She had a really big heart, always compassionate, always caring about everyone – she would put someone else first before her own needs,” said Hannah Choe.

Now that community and Choe's family are looking for answers as police continue to search for a suspect in her death. If you have any information on this case you're being urged to call 911 or Crime Stoppers.

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