Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade police charge suspect in nail-salon shooting death of boy

Police on Tuesday are interviewing a "subject" in the killing of a 10-year-old boy at his family's Northwest Miami-Dade's nail salon.

"We got the support of the community and it led to the person we are questioning," said police spokeswoman Robin Pinkard.

The person of interest being interviewed has not been charged, Detective Javier Baez said in an email.

Police declined to give any other details Tuesday morning.

On Monday, an hour before Miami-Dade police upped the reward for tips leading to the killers, the father – also shot in the robbery at the nail salon – learned of his son’s death.

“He went into shock,” said Thi Pham, aunt of Hai Nam Vu, who owned Hong Kong Nails. The salon, at 14832 NW Seventh Ave., was robbed by two gunmen who burst in around 7:30 p.m. Friday, taking items from customers and workers, and firing bullets as they fled out the door. One bullet struck fifth grader Aaron Vu, who was hanging out at the salon after school with his parents. Another struck Vu, Aaron’s father.

On Monday, family members gathered at Miami-Dade police headquarters to make a public appeal for information leading to the arrest of Aaron’s killer.

The child’s father is “broken-hearted, devastated,” the aunt said.

Lynn Ma, Aaron’s mother, had planned to join her brother Loc Ma and her husband’s aunt, but stayed with her husband and two younger children, who also had been told Monday about Aaron’s death.

“We brought the children in so they can share the pain,” Pham said, pausing to catch her breath. “The loss of Aaron is so painful.”

Dick Masten, executive director of Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers, said he hopes the bump in the reward, from $3,000 to $25,000, will convince someone to call in.

“Let today be the day that we turn the tide in this community against that coward’s code called no snitching,” he said. “It has no place in a civilized society. We are all responsible for one another. We are responsible for standing up against this type of violence; this type of cold-blooded murder.”

In-store surveillance captured video of the robbers, one with a red headband and another who had a shirt draped around his face.

Police have said the intent was clearly robbery – the men can be seen leaving with purses in hand – but have not released any more details about the shooting.

Loc Ma said the shop had a buzzer system to control who comes in and goes out, but the robbers likely came in as someone was leaving.

On Monday, J.D. Patterson, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, pledged to find the killers and asked for everyone’s support. He said police had some leads, but would not go into detail.

“I want our community to know we must come together to stop this kind of activity,” he said. “I say to our community stand up, stand out, identify these people. Work with us to get these people in jail.”

For the family, thinking about Aaron – and all the things he will miss out on – is almost too much to handle.

Sitting next to Loc Ma, Pham told stories about Aaron, an energetic youngster who loved to dance, draw and take care of his siblings,

Loc Ma, barely able to speak, held out a picture of Aaron, sharply dressed in an aqua button-down shirt and beige pants for his Nov. 6 birthday pictures. He turned 10 that day.

“See this boy,” he said. “Please help find the bad guys.”

The $25,000 reward will be awarded to anyone with information leading to an arrest in the case. Citizens may contact CrimeStoppers at 305-471- 8477 or 866-471-8477. Information also can be shared through Select “Give a Tip.” Or send a text message to 274637. Enter CMSD followed by the tip.

Related stories from Miami Herald