Coroner Identifies Man Who Died in Thurston County Parking Lot Shooting Saturday


A 26-year-old Tumwater man who died after being shot at a WinCo Foods parking lot Saturday night has been identified.

Ronald Taufa'ase'e died from multiple gunshot wounds, and his manner of death was homicide, Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock told The Olympian. Taufa'ase'e died at the scene of the shooting at 7540 Martin Way East near Lacey.

Deputies arrested John Nguyen, 23, on suspicion of first-degree murder Saturday night. He's accused of walking up to Taufa'ase'e while he sat in a parked vehicle and shooting him over 10 times, seemingly at random.

Nguyen virtually attended his preliminary appearance in Thurston County Superior Court on Monday. Court Commissioner Nathan Kortokrax found probable cause for second-degree murder charges rather than first-degree as the prosecution requested.

However, Kortokrax did side with the prosecution in setting no bail for Nguyen. He reached his decision after hearing tearful testimony from Taufa'ase'e's sister.

Court documents show prosecutors charged Nguyen with first-degree murder and second-degree murder on Tuesday. Both charges involve Taufa'ase'e.

Deputies reportedly found a Glock 9-millimeter handgun and ammunition in Nguyen's backpack.