Man still wanted after bystander gunned down in Smyrna parking lot

Courtesy: TBI

SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s been three years of heartache for the family of an innocent bystander who was gunned down after enjoying a night at a Smyrna restaurant.

On June 23, 2013, John Bouavong was caught in the crossfire as a group of men started fighting outside the Souksavahn Restaurant on Almaville Road.

Two other people were also shot and two suspects were arrested for the shooting, but one suspect seems to have disappeared.

Smyrna police are hoping News 2’s viewers can help track down the person of interest, Bounthavy Mickey Mouthouta, also known as Soviet.

MORE: Arrest made in Smyrna restaurant shooting, 2nd suspect at large 

Detective Allan Nabours has been combing over the case file for three years to see if there is anything that was missed.

As the years go by, new leads and tips are few and far between.

“[It] becomes more and more difficult because as time passes. People forget about things that have happened. You know, it’s not fresh on people’s mind,” said Det. Nabours.

Police said others are afraid to talk since the shooting may have been gang-related.

“This shooting is kind of Asian Pride Gang, APG, and they may be afraid of the gang members or some type of retaliation if they come forward,” said the detective.

Bouavong was just shy of his 31st birthday when he was gunned down. Smyrna police told News 2 he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

His family is still having a tough time dealing with his death, especially his mother.

“She cried almost 24 hours [for] like one year, and when I see my wife cry, I cry also, too,” said John’s father, Vanh Bouavong.

John was his only son. He said he was dating a woman and adored her three children, treating them as if they were his own.

The family wants closure, but they know that won’t happen while Mouthouta is on the run.

“Mickey I tell you what, you can’t hide, you can’t run. You can’t run forever the rest of your life,” said Vanh Bouavong.

Mouthouta is still one of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s 10 Most Wanted after being added to the list in July 2013.

There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to his capture. Police have received tips that he could be in California or as far away as Thailand or Laos.

If you have any information about this case that could be helpful to police, or if you know where they could find Mouthouta, you can contact the US Marshal Service Fugitive Recovery Task Force or Smyrna police at 615-267-5434.

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