Florida Teen Charged in Murder of 10-Year-Old After Nail Salon Shooting

Florida Teen Charged in Murder of 10-Year-Old After Nail Salon Shooting

There was no reason for Anthawn D. Ragan Jr. to fire the gun. He and his accomplice already had the panicked customers' purses, had what little money was in the register at Hong Kong Nails in Miami. But with both feet outside the swinging door, surveillance footage captured Ragan Jr. firing three shots on Friday, taking the life of a boy who was helping at his family's nail salon, and wounding his father -- a former Marine who is now mourning the loss of his son.

Police have charged Ragan Jr. with first-degree murder in the case of Aaron Vu, a 10-year-old boy who liked to play trombone and practice karate, friends told Local 10.

Ragan's was booked yesterday, on his 19th birthday. At 9:24 p.m., the 5-foot-7-inch man was ushered in to his new home at Miami-Dade Corrections. His last teenage year will be filled with court dates, cell walls, commissary, and visitation.

As Ragan Jr. sits in a cell awaiting arraignment, there's another 5-foot-7-inch Anthawn Ragan incarcerated in Florida's prison system: Anthawn Ragan Sr. He was locked up in 1994 on a murder charge -- four months before Ragan Jr. was born -- and is currently serving a life term under close supervision at Okaloosa Correctional Institution in Crestview, Fla.

It's not Ragan Jr.'s first arrest. Court records reveal juvenile delinquency charges for one "R, A." dating back to 2008 in which Ragan Jr.'s guardian, Octavia Monique Rauls, signed on his behalf. In 2005, Octavia M. Rauls -- with Anthawn D. Ragan Jr. listed as a party -- sued Anthawn Ragan Sr. for child support.

Ragan Sr. was also listed among pages of incarcerated parents in a grand jury report filed in 1995 on the state of child support in then-Dade County. The grand jury report reads: "Parents who fail to support their children deprive them of the financial and emotional support necessary to succeed in a tough, competitive world."

It goes on: "The actions of non-supportive parents can be compared to those of a thief, but rather than stealing one's possessions, this thief instead steals the future of a child."

Reporting by Kristin Bjornsen

Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >