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2 arrested in stabbing death of Lakewood store owner

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CAPTURED Nov. 15, 2019 -- 

Lakewood police said Marcus Williams turned himself in and was arrested on Friday. He was apprehended in Tacoma by the South Sound Gang Task Force.

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LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Lakewood Police arrested one suspect and are searching for a second after the robbery and stabbing death of a beloved convenience store owner.

Police identified Marcus Williams, 24, as the man who reportedly walked into McChord Mart on the night of Oct. 14, grabbed a bottle of BBQ sauce, then stabbed owner In Choe as she tried to stop him from taking money from the cash register.

Surveillance video released by Lakewood Police shows 59-year-old Choe tried to fight him off, but he stabbed her repeatedly. When she tried to chase him with a baton as he ran out of the store, he pushed her down and ran to a nearby vehicle that was waiting for him.

Choe walked back to the register, grabbed her keys, locked the store and then tried to leave in her car. She succumbed to her injuries in her vehicle and never made it out of the parking lot.

Police said 20-year-old Bonifacio Alvarez Reynolds was the driver of the getaway car. Investigators believe Reynolds and Williams planned the robbery together, then reportedly bragged to a friend after it happened.

A day later, they allegedly told the friend that Choe had died after seeing news reports. The friend urged them to turn themselves in, but they refused. The friend went to police a couple of weeks later and gave investigators their names.

DNA found on the bottle of BBQ sauce linked Williams to the crime scene.

A judge signed murder warrants for Williams and Reynolds Nov. 8. Police planned to arrest Williams Tuesday morning (Nov. 12) when he checked in with his probation officer, then pick up Reynolds shortly after. Williams didn't show up to meet with his probation officer.

Police believe Williams is on the run and could be armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911. Do not approach the suspect.

Submit the information to Crime Stoppers anonymously to get a cash reward of up to $1,000 if your tip helps lead to his arrest. Use the P3 Tips App on your smart phone that you can download for free, or call the hot line at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).

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Choe had three children - Angela, Hannah and Elijah - and was also a grandmother. Her customers also called her "mama," because she took care of everyone she met, her family and friends 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.

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