Second suspect arrested in murder of Lakewood convenience store owner

VIDEO: Man accused in death Lakewood convenience store captured

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — Lakewood police say they have arrested the second and final suspect in the murder and robbery of a convenience store owner.

The first suspect, 20-year-old Bonifacio Alvarez Reynolds, turned himself in to police Tuesday. Authorities say Reynolds drove the getaway car after the murder.

Lakewood PD Lt. Chris Lawler said Marcus L. Williams, the 24-year-old man believed to have murdered the victim, was arrested by the South Sound Gang Task Force in Tacoma shortly before 9 a.m. Friday.

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Williams had been on the run for a month, wanted in the murder of the McChord Mart owner In Choe, 59, in Lakewood.

Friday morning Lakewood police got the tip they'd been waiting for. Someone called saying Williams was at a home in Tacoma. A short time later a heavily armed gang unit surrounded him.

"He came outside the residence and turned himself in," assistant Lakewood police chief John Unfred said.

"We got a tip from the community and we'd like to thank the community for responding to our requests for information, Unfred said.

Detectives say they believe Williams and Reynolds drove to the McChord Mart with plans of robbing the store. Reynolds waited in the car nearby while Williams went into the store, grabbed a bottle of barbecue sauce off the shelf and took it to the register, where Choe was behind the counter, police said.

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When Williams went around the counter to take money out of the register, Choe tried to stop him from taking the money, authorities said.

Police said it was then that Williams stabbed her several times as she continued to fight him off, according to investigators.

Choe, who armed herself with a collapsible baton, swung it at Williams as he tried to run from the store, according to officers. He pushed her away at the doorway and ran away heading north to a waiting car driven by Reynolds, police said.

Choe went back into the store, locked the door and tried to drive off in her car, but she never made it out of the parking lot and died from her injuries while in her car.

Police said afterward, the men bragged about the robbery to a friend. The next day they told the friend they realized Choe had died when they saw news reports, according to investigators.

Detectives said the friend encouraged them to turn themselves in to police, but the men refused.  The friend came to police with information about the men a few weeks later.

Police say a DNA sample collected from the barbecue sauce bottle at the crime scene matched that of Williams.

Murder warrants for Williams and Reynolds were issued on Nov. 8.

As for Williams, he was booked into the Pierce County Jail and is expected to appear in court Monday.

Lakewood police released surveillance video from the incident.  Watch it at the bottom of this story.