"It's horrible," said Thanh Le, 17, her granddaughter. "I have no idea who would want to hurt my grandma that bad."
There was no suspect, and the motive was unclear, said Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.
"It wasn't anything obvious that was stolen. The house wasn't ransacked," he said.
Dana Vo, 39, a close family friend, described the victim as a "happy lady" who was "so sweet."
"When you need anything, she's there for you," said Kelly Pham, 14, another family friend.
Le and her 14-year-old brother, Johnson Le, lived in the two-story house in the 5000 block of Garfield Avenue with the beloved woman and several other people.
"She's always been there for me and my brother," said Le, a junior at Pennsauken High School. "She's been there ever since my parents left me."
In 1995, Le's parents, Son Thanh Le and Hanh Thi Bich Ngo, were murdered in East Camden by an armed man who thought they had a large stash of money. Son Thanh Le was Nguyen's son.
The gunman found no such stash, killed the couple, and then tried to escape using a 4-year-old Thanh Le as a hostage.
As she sat just a few feet from where her grandmother was killed, Le remembered the gunman holding her as a shield before a Camden police marksman shot him in an eye.
Investigators said they didn't believe Nguyen's slaying was connected to the 1995 case.
Danny Nguyen, 36, who lives in the house and described himself as a godson, said Ty Nguyen also had a daughter, who lives in Vietnam. She will receive the body after it is transported out of the United States.
Anyone with information about the killing is asked to call Investigator James Bruno at 856-225-8400 or Detective Phil DiCarlo at 856-488-0080.
Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.