Police Searching for Second Suspect in Fatal Miami-Dade Nail Salon Shooting of 10-Year-Old Aaron Vu

Miami-Dade Police director J.D. Patterson appealed for the second suspect in the shooting of Aaron Vu to turn himself in

The family of a 10-year-old boy that was killed in an armed robbery last week spoke Wednesday afternoon about their plans following the shooting.

"We're taking it one day at a time, one minute at a time," family member Thi Pham said. "At this time the last thing on our minds is turkey."

Police are still looking for the second suspect in the fatal shooting of 10-year-old Aaron Vu at a northwest Miami-Dade nail salon, officials said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Pham said the family is focusing on the recovery of Aaron Vu's father, 42-year-old Hai Vu, who was shot in the shoulder during the shooting.

"We'll be at the hospital probably all day tomorrow," she said. "We're focused on how Hai's condition will progress from now on."

Pham recognized the outpouring of support from the community and said the family is grateful for everyone that has shown sympathy over the boy's death.

"The world has lost the most beautiful angel. A human being, a child that brought so many laughter, so much joy to all the people around him," she said. "The absence of this little angel can never be replaced. We will always feel empty in our hearts of not having little Aaron in this world."

She said the boy's mother Lynn has been strong following the shooting.

"She's holding it well, the best she could, for the sake of [her other children] and her husband," Pham said.

At an earlier press conference, Miami-Dade Police director J.D. Patterson appealed for the public to help find the second suspect in the shooting.

"We're not done with this case yet," Patterson said. "We are not going to stop looking for him but we definitely could use information that somebody might have out there in our community that could help us close this case by bringing this second person into custody as well."

Patterson also appealed for the suspect to turn himself in.

"If they don't come forward we are determined to find them," Patterson said.

The news conference came hours after police arrested and charged 19-year-old Anthawn Ragan Jr. with first-degree murder in the crime.

Ragan was taken into custody at a family member's residence after police received a tip, Patterson said. He is also facing charges of armed robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a firearm and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm. Police charged him with battery on a law enforcement officer after he became violent with officers at the time of his arrest.

Ragan sported a black eye at his first appearance in bond court Wednesday morning, where he was ordered held without bond by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny. Colodny appointed him a public defender after Ragan said he had no assets.

"He didn't do anything, that's not him," one family member, who didn't want to be identified, said after the hearing. "I believe he don't have nothing to do with that."

Police said Ragan and a second suspect barged into the nail salon at 14832 Northwest 7th Avenue Friday night, demanding money and valuables. At one point, the suspects opened fire as they fled the salon, police said.

"It's kind of crazy, it's kind of tragic when somebody with a gun decides for no reason, for no even common sensical reason, decides to just shoot, and don't even look at what they're doing," Patterson said.

Aaron Vu died from his injuries at the hospital. The boy's father, Hai Vu, 42, is recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Hai Vu spoke with reporters Tuesday to plead for the public's help in solving the crime.

"Why did this have to happen? Why couldn’t it just have been me?" he asked. "They killed an innocent child."

"We hope my son’s death will not be in vain. That something will come out of this in the future that will greatly reduce senseless acts of violence in our community," Hai Vu said. "No family should have to go through such pain and agony like what my family’s going through."

Patterson said Ragan is also facing charges for an armed robbery that happened on Nov. 9 in north Miami.

Police have received over 100 tips in the past few days related to the shooting but they're still asking the community to come forward with any information they may have, Patterson said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

Aaron Vu's funeral is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 2 at St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church in Southwest Ranches. For more information on visitation and a mass schedule, click here.

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