Cold Case: Woman gunned down at SE Portland video store - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold Case: Woman gunned down at SE Portland video store

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

"I have to say every day is a tough time for me because my youngest daughter looks like my mom," said Krystle Nguyen.

Nguyen's mother, Thang Thi Nguyen, was known simply as "Lily" in her southeast Portland neighborhood.  Back in 1993,  she ran the video rental store.

It was a summer day when Lily Nguyen was shot twice, Portland police cold case investigators say. She was found lying in front of her shop, bleeding.

Her last words were, "They killed me. They killed me."

But who were they?

"It was just a weird situation that day. It was out of the norm," said Krystle Nguyen.

Krystle Nguyen was 20 years old when her mother was murdered.  She was supposed to be working that day, but her mother stepped in at the last minute.  Krystle Nguyen still worries she may have been the intended target.

"That could have been me and things just kind of happened for a reason. So, I've always thought that maybe things were intended for me," Krystle Nguyen said.

Police said it was 12:30 p.m. July 25, 1993, when Lily Nguyen was working alone in the store in the 1400 block of Southeast Belmont Street.  Detectives said back then, they had few leads, just some vague witness statements.

Several witnesses said they saw two Asian men running from the area around the time of the shooting.  A white mid-size car may have been associated with those two men.

Police said there was no obvious sign that robbery was the motive and Krystle Nguyen said her mom had no enemies.  

She said losing her mother -- her best friend -- has been a heavy emotional burden for the last 18 years, one she hopes can finally be lifted by an arrest.

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