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Surveillance video released by the Long Beach Police Department after the murder depicted two male suspects entering the store and approaching the counter. One of the suspects produced a chrome revolver and proceeded to rob the store clerk. During the robbery, a male patron who detectives are still attempting to identify, was also robbed at gunpoint. The armed suspect then shot Victim Phouma, before both suspects fled the store. Victim Phouma was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Within days of the murder, a reward for information leading to the suspects' identity and whereabouts was established by business owners. Additionally, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, at the request of Supervisor Don Knabe, offered a $10,000 reward.
Initially, detectives received numerous tips, although none of them led to a break in the case. However, in March of 2011, detectives received an anonymous tip that one of the suspects involved in the robbery was in custody in Riverside on unrelated robbery and firearm charges. They immediately began working with the Riverside Sheriff’s Department and identified 31-year-old Edgar Vasquez of Perris as the shooter.
Detectives carried on with the investigation, withholding the release of this information until now in an effort to identify the second suspect. They have followed up on all leads, still attempting to confirm the identity of the second suspect, and are hoping that someone will come forward with additional information.
Anyone who may have information regarding the second suspect or the male patron who was also robbed is urged to contact Long Beach Homicide Detectives David Rios and Roger Zottneck at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted via text or web at www.tipsoft.com.
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