Candlelight Memorial Tonight for Slain Jewelry Store Owner

Vigil is from 8 to 9 p.m. in front of Columbia Pike business.

A candlelight memorial will be held tonight for late last week.

The memorial will be from 8 to 9 p.m. in front of Capital Jewelers, 3219A Columbia Pike, between Walter Reed Drive and Glebe Road, according to signs posted at the store.

Police found Tommy Wong of Herndon dead late Friday at the jewelry store. His family called police after they were unable to reach him.

Investigators believe Wong was killed during an armed robbery by a man wearing a yellow reflective vest at about 4 p.m. that day.

Wong, by all accounts, was a kind-hearted, hard-working family man. His son described him that way to The Washington Post. His daughter told WUSA that "He worked hard for his family. He's a better dad than I could ever ask for."

A small collection of flowers and other memorials now lay on the sidewalk against the front of Capital Jewelers. Two signs with information about tonight's vigil have been posted.

Pete Boonyapas, a valet at the nearby Thai Square Restaurant, told Patch that he knew Wong for years.

"He was a very good guy. He worked hard for his family," Boonyapas said.

The two would sometimes talk about Wong's children, who are in college. Wong would talk about having trouble with his minivan, or how business was doing.

"He (would say) sometimes it is low, sometimes it is busy. He's tired, but he has to work for his children," Boonyapas said.

Wong was a quiet man, often working at his desk in the back corner of the store, Boonyapas said.

One nearby business owner, who asked not to be identified, said Wong was "mellow" and not threatening or intimidating in any way. He said he could not foresee a situation where Wong would have refused to comply with an armed robber's demands.

The killer remains at large.

NBC4 has reported that investigators are looking at June 9 surveillance video from a jewelry store robbery in northwest Washington to see if the two were connected. The culprit in that robbery also wore a yellow reflective vest.

"We are actively working with Metropolitan Police Department detectives to see if these two incidents are connected in any way," Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck told Patch.

Police initially would not release Wong's name. Sternbeck confirmed it to Patch late Tuesday.

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