Oklahoma Woman Arrested in 1993 Killing in California

Associated Press - March 25, 2022 6:05 am

SAN CARLOS, Calif. (AP) — A 61-year-old woman was arrested in Oklahoma in the 1993 killing of a Northern California shop owner who was shot during a “robbery gone wrong,” authorities said Thursday.

Rayna Elizabeth Hoffman-Ramos was arrested in Dewey last week in a case that was cold for nearly 30 years. She is in Washington County Jail awaiting extradition to California to face charges in the April 26, 1993, fatal shooting of Shu Ming Tang, said San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jacob Trickett at a Thursday news conference.

It was not immediately known if Hoffman-Ramos has retained an attorney who can speak on her behalf. Officials with the San Mateo and Washington county sheriff’s offices said they did not know if she has legal representation.

Tang, who immigrated to California from Taiwan, was shot once in the chest while tending his mom-and-pop shop, the Devonshire Little Store, in the hills of San Carlos, Trickett said. He died at a hospital.

“Mr. Tang was a husband, a father and a friend who came to the United States to provide a better life for his family,” San Carlos Mayor Sara McDowell said Thursday. “His death shook the community of San Carlos and has remained a topic of discussion over the years.”

The killing shocked the quiet bedroom community 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of San Francisco and attracted national attention after it was featured on “America’s Most Wanted” that same year.

Detectives received information that a woman was seen leaving the store shortly after the shooting. They followed various leads but the case went unsolved for decades, Trickett said.

In 2018, San Mateo County Sheriff’s detectives assigned to cold case investigations reviewed the case, and thanks to “the advancement in forensic technology,” identified Hoffman-Ramos, who lived in San Mateo County at the time of Tang’s killing, as a suspect, he said.

Trickett declined to specify how detectives connected Hoffman-Ramos to the homicide. He said she was the only suspect in the case.

Trickett said Tang’s family has been informed of Hoffman-Ramos’ arrest.

San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos said the department thanked the Tang’s relatives for their support, and he hopes the “family will finally get the justice and closure that you deserve.”

Rayna Elizabeth Hoffman-Ramos

This undated photo provided by the San Mateo, Calif., Sheriff's Office shows Rayna Elizabeth Hoffman-Ramos. Authorities in Northern California said Thursday, March 24, 2022, that 61-year-old Hoffman-Ramos was arrested in Oklahoma in the 1993 killing of a San Carlos shop owner who was shot during a "robbery gone wrong." The case remained cold for nearly 30 years despite attracting national attention. (San Mateo Sheriff's Office via AP)


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