After hours of questioning, Miami-Dade homicide detectives late Tuesday charged a suspect with the brazen murder of a fifth-grader shot to death during a robbery at his parents’ North Miami-Dade nail salon.
Anthawn Ragan, who turned 19 on Tuesday, is being held without bond on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and battery on a police officer.
On Wednesday morning, Miami-Dade police made a public plea for help in finding a second suspect. Police received more than 100 tips, some of which led to the arrest of Ragan.
“We are not going to stop looking for him,” Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson said.
A tip led police to Ragan Tuesday, just hours after the heartbroken family of Aaron Vu pleaded for the public’s help in finding the two men who stormed into the Honk Kong Nail salon around 7:30 p.m. Friday, robbed the business and customers, then opened fire as they fled the salon at 14832 NW Seventh Ave., fatally wounding the boy and hitting his father.
Clients with children were inside, along with nail technicians. Surveillance video shows the two men snatching items from customers and workers, and firing bullets as they left. The tape captured a clear picture of one man’s face. That was Ragan, police said.
The other had his face covered by a red shirt.
Police blanketed the neighborhood with the pictures. To entice tips from the public, Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers upped the reward from $3,000 to $25,000 for information leading to the gunmen.
On Tuesday, police had their first suspect. At 3:40 a.m., they went to the home of Ragan’s sister, 737 NW 53rd St., where the suspect was hiding. The arresting officer said a tipster directed him to a door along the eastern wall of the duplex. The officer peered in and saw the suspect sitting on a sofa.
“I observed the defendant sitting on the couch inside the residence,’’ according to the report. “He stood up and ran toward a back bedroom.”
Ragan jumped on the bed and tried hide under some covers. As officers tried to cuff him, he ran and was tackled to the floor in a hallway. He fell, face first, according to the report. Officers said he had to be struck in the rib cage before he surrendered.
“I give up,” Ragan stated, according to the report. He also was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer. . .