GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Police say the same man who set fire to a Grand Prairie home where a woman was found dead also terrorized a nearby nail salon after.
Bill Son Nguyen, 47, was arrested on Friday after police say a Good Samaritan with a licensed handgun detained him at the salon until police arrived.
The house where the apparent murder and arson happened is just around the corner from the Lake Side Nail Salon. Witnesses say the suspect has connections to both crime scenes.
A woman who's a friend of the person found dead in the burned house believes this violent crime spree started over a dispute between the victim and the suspect.
“Evidently, she said that she threw her boyfriend out a couple days ago,” said neighbor Chuck Ozbun. “After whatever happened here, he came up to the nail salon, and he wreaked havoc up there.”
Grand Prairie police say they got a call about a man beating a female worker at the nail salon and pistol-whipping her before trying to set the place on fire.
Employees at the real estate office next door went in to try and help the woman being beaten. One of them said the cash register was on fire when they confronted Nguyen. They say he tried to shoot them, but his gun wouldn't work. Another real estate employee who is licensed to carry held Nguyen at gunpoint until police arrived.
“Had he not been there, there's no telling what could've happened,” said Grand Prairie Asst. Police Chief Daniel Scesney. “So we're in his debt and very grateful for him taking action when he did.”
Witnesses also say Nguyen set a truck on fire in the parking lot. The woman beaten at the nail salon was taken to the hospital. Police are trying figure out how Nguyen knew her.
About the same time, Grand Prairie firefighters were trying to put out a house fire nearby. Police say they found a woman dead inside the burning house. A friend of the victim says she believes the victim and Nguyen had been dating.
"She was a very happy person,” said Lan Vo. “Last year, her sister passed away of cancer. Her sister left her three kids to take care of. She had told me she was a single mom with two kids. So it was five kids total."
Vo says the injured woman works at the salon and is a friend of the woman who was killed. Police expected her to survive her injuries.
Grand Prairie police say Nguyen also worked at the nail salon at some point. They're still working on putting together everything that happened. He is now charged with murder, arson and aggravated assault.
The victim was identified as Chi Pham, of Grand Prairie.