Robbrie Thompson, a 16-year-old Federal Way resident accused of murdering a 79-year-old Puyallup grocery store owner on April 27, pleaded not guilty on May 3 to seven counts, including murder and robbery. He is being charged as an adult. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Robbrie Thompson, a 16-year-old Federal Way resident accused of murdering a 79-year-old Puyallup grocery store owner on April 27, pleaded not guilty on May 3 to seven counts, including murder and robbery. He is being charged as an adult. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Federal Way man found guilty in murder of Puyallup store clerk, teenage accomplice

In April 2019, a 79-year-old store clerk was fatally shot in Puyallup. Two days later, the body of one of the suspects was found in a Tacoma marina.

A Federal Way man has been found guilty for the April 2019 murder of store clerk Soon Ja Nam and the murder of his teenage accomplice just days later, according to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Robbrie P. Thompson, 19, was found guilty Sept. 30 by a jury in Pierce County Superior Court on eight counts including first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree aggravated murder for the killings of 79-year-old Soon Ja Nam and 16-year-old Franklin Thuo.

He was also found guilty on counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, and conspiracy to commit robbery.

His sentencing is at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19.

On April 27, 2019, Thompson and Thuo — both then 16 — walked into the Handy Corner Food Store in Puyallup with guns and demanded cash from the register. The two drove the store in Thuo’s Nissan Sentra and wore beanies, medical masks and rubber gloves.

A Snapchat video from several sources shows Thompson and Thuo smiling and brandishing firearms, according to the documents. The video was made around 4:34 p.m., half an hour before the robbery took place.

Inside the store, Soon Ja Nam’s husband heard her yell for him. As he walked from their adjacent home into the store, Nam fell to the ground. Medical examiners later determined Nam died at the scene from a single gunshot to her back.

“Before losing consciousness, she yelled to her husband from the floor to open the register,” documents state.

One of the gunmen — later determined to be Thompson — then stole cash from the opened register while pointing the gun at Nam’s husband. The gunmen fled from the store and Thompson drove away in the Nissan, shortly returning to pick up Thuo. Documents state Thompson was visibly upset when he initially got into the car.

Two days later on April 29, Thuo’s body was found on the shoreline of the Chinook Landing Marina along Marine View Drive in northeast Tacoma. He was killed by a single gunshot wound to the back of the head, shot at close range, according to the documents.

Forensic analysis revealed the recovered bullets from Thuo’s and Nam’s murders were fired from the same gun, documents stated.

The night before on April 28, Thompson was visiting his girlfriend in Federal Way when Thuo wanted to turn himself in for the Handy Corner robbery and murder, documents state. Searches on Thompson’s phone that night included “Puyallup shooting” and “where is the best place to shoot someone,” documents state.

After texting with several other people, Thompson’s final text is sent around 10:30 p.m. on April 30. His phone is then turned off and turned back on about two hours later, during which prosecutors believe Thuo was killed.

Thompson and Thuo both attended Decatur High School in Federal Way, the principal confirmed in 2019.


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The Handy Corner Store in Puyallup where 79-year-old Soon Ja Nam was murdered during an armed robbery April 27. The Puyallup community came together to support the Nam family during this difficult time. Mirror file photo

The Handy Corner Store in Puyallup where 79-year-old Soon Ja Nam was murdered during an armed robbery April 27. The Puyallup community came together to support the Nam family during this difficult time. Mirror file photo

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