Felon accused of murdering beloved Lakewood convenience store owner

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. – Police say one man is under arrest and another is on the run in connection to the murder of a beloved Pierce County store owner.

The community of Lakewood is still reeling from the killing of In Choe, a woman known to many by her nickname Mama.

Lakewood Police say their murder suspect was supposed to check in with his probation officer Tuesday morning, but he never showed. The department also released dramatic surveillance video of the robbery and murder, and it shows the store owner fighting back even though she suffered fatal injuries.

Police say an arrest warrant has been issued for Choe’s suspected killer, 24-year-old Marcus Williams. Detectives believe he murdered 59-year-old Choe during an October 14 robbery at her McChord Mart store near JBLM.

“Williams we know is a convicted felon already and was on probation for robbery,” said Lakewood Police Chief Mike Zaro. “He has every motivation to not get caught.”

Surveillance video shows Williams first shopping, then walking around the corner and grabbing money from the register. When Choe tried to intervene, that’s when Williams stabbed her and then took off, say detectives.

Police say even though Choe’s injuries were immediately life threatening, she somehow chased after Williams.

“The medical examiner made statements to our detectives that, even if medical aid was on scene it would have been very difficult for her to survive her injuries,” added Zaro.

Police say tips and DNA evidence linked their suspects to the robbery and murder.

Detectives say both Williams and the man police believe drove the getaway car, 20-year-old Bonifacio Alvarez Reynolds, bragged about the crime and only found out that Choe had died after reading news reports.

Tuesday afternoon, officials say Reynolds turn himself in to authorities. The suspected getaway car was also recovered.

Investigators say the attack was the third homicide in the region that has rocked the Korean community.

“That store, for a lot of people who live around there, is where they shop,” said Zaro. “They have a personal relationship with that person, Mrs. Choe. It feels like a personal attack for them.”

Detectives say Williams should be considered as dangerous.