Family and friends are mourning a former Gainesville resident who was shot and killed Monday morning on a busy Midtown Atlanta street.
Police said Raylon Browning, 39, of Roswell, approached 40-year-old Trinh Huynh just before 8 a.m. Monday at an intersection and shot her multiple times from behind. Huynh was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she died from her injuries. Browning was arrested in Cobb County on Monday night.
Brian Davis, her neighbor in Atlanta, called Huynh “probably the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life.” But it was her gracious nature that made the Princeton University and Emory University School of Law graduate stand out to Davis.
“She had a lot that she could brag about, but she wasn’t that type of person,” Davis said. “She was very humble. Every quality that was good, she had it.”
Huynh was currently working as a lawyer for UPS, according to her LinkedIn page.
Her family shared a statement with The Times, noting Huynh’s volunteer work coaching mock trial at Grady High School and assisting with refugee relief in Georgia.
“She was more than an attorney and always strove to be more and to have more in life than just her resume. She loved to dance and she lived every day with passion, love and light,” according to the statement. “She always had a joke, a smile or an obscure fact to share, and she will long be remembered and honored for the way that she lived and not the tragedy of her death.”
Myrtle Figueras, former Gainesville mayor, City Council member and Gainesville High School teacher, recalled Huynh as one of the best students in her French class at Gainesville High. Huynh graduated from Gainesville High in 1994.
“I’m so hurt. I don’t even know how to talk about it,” Figueras said. “I’m aching.”
Huynh was a Vietnamese refugee who came to the United States after the Vietnam War. She posted her refugee processing photo Jan. 28 on her Facebook page.
“This is the face of a refugee. I am proud of my refugee status. I am thankful for the opportunities this wonderful country has afforded me and my family,” Huynh wrote. “I would not be here if the State of Georgia and this country had closed their doors and hearts to my family. I think this great state and the US have more love to give.”
Browning was arrested after he ran a red light in Cobb County. He faces charges of murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly stabbing two people on Sunday.
Police said the assault charges led investigators to Browning. Investigators looking into the stabbings saw similarities between a photo of Browning and video linked to Huynh’s shooting. In addition, police found a weapon that’s a preliminary match in her shooting and a hooded sweatshirt that matched what the suspect was wearing in the video.
“This is a case where the system worked. We had good inter-agency cooperation with Cobb County, followed by sound police work by our investigators and detectives that allowed us to connect the dots and make this arrest,” said Darryl Tolleson, deputy chief of Atlanta’s Criminal Investigations Division.
Investigators haven’t determined if Huynh and Browning knew each other, but they believe Huynh was targeted and being followed by him.
It was unknown if Browning is represented by an attorney.
According to address records and the Georgia Bar Association directory, Huynh lived about a block from where she was shot and worked as an attorney.
“She didn’t deserve this,” Davis said.
Huynh was a member of the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
“Trinh Huynh passionately lived her life, whether as a daughter, sister, friend, or lawyer. She served the Asian American legal community for many years through GAPABA and other bar associations,” the GAPABA wrote on Facebook. “A former Board member, Trinh often attended GAPABA events, where she would share stories from her most recent travels. Her loss is tragic to GAPABA, the many people whom she influenced, and the community at large. She will be greatly missed.”