This is the image forever seared into the hearts of Nagendiram Kandasamy’s family and friends. A security camera video still-frame of the gunman who leapt onto the counter and opened fire on the 7-11 clerk early the morning of Feb. 21, 2020, killing the 64-year-old husband and father.
For the first time since the murder two years ago, there is a new lead. Working with the Pacific Northwest Violent Offenders Task Force, detectives are searching for a suspect; they won’t say whether it is a man or a woman. Edmonds Acting Assistant Chief Josh McClure said that detectives have developed “probable cause” that they hope will lead them to the killer. He would not be more specific, but said task force members, made up of local police, Snohomish County deputies and U.S. marshals, are leading the effort.
Friends called him Nagi; he worked the overnight shift at 7-11 to support his family. At a community gathering just days after the murder, Shawn Martin said he’d see Nagi every day on his way home from work. Martin said that Kandasamy “always had a smile.”It was Martin who, just minutes after the attempted robbery, found Kandasamy slumped behind that counter. “I went ‘hey, hey, hey, come on man,’ and he wasn’t responsive, barely breathing,” Martin said.
At that community service, Jim Crocoll laid flowers at a memorial candle and touched the prayer shawl the church congregation made for Nagi. “It was always about his kids, getting his kids an education so they could thrive in the world,” Crocoll said. “That’s what Nagi’s goal was. And he worked so hard.” Friends say he often worked 16-hour shifts. Kandasamy, who was born in Sri Lanka, is survived by his wife Rama and a son and daughter.
The 7-11 store where Kandasamy was shot was closed for a short time after the murder and friends and family left flowers as a tribute. The 7-11 Corporation offered a $10,000 reward; Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound added another $1,000 to that fund.
Three weeks after the murder, in March 2020, Edmonds police — working with the North Metro SWAT team — surrounded a home in Enumclaw. For five hours they tried to talk two people out of the house; eventually used tear gas and then a K-9 to get them to surrender. Officers arrested a man and woman, and police said they were persons of interest in the investigation. They also removed what they called evidence from the home. But neither has been charged with the murder. The man, McClure said, is still in custody for what he called “other unrelated robberies.” The last police knew, he added, was that the woman is no longer in custody.
McClure said this case has always been worked and active. “We’re not just waiting for a person to show up, a lot of work has been done,” he said. The new lead and the involvement of the Violent Offenders Task Force, which McClure said is “very good at their job,” now give detectives their best chance to solve Nagendiram Kandasamy’s murder.
— By Bob Throndsen