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Suspect arrested in stabbing death of Choi’s Kimchi co-founder

Allen Coe is facing a number of charges including murder, burglary and identity theft.
Credit: Multnomah County Jail
Allen Coe, 30, arrested in murder of Choi's Kimchi Company co-founder Matthew Choi. Both men were tenants in the same SE Portland apartment building.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A 30-year-old man was arrested Wednesday in the stabbing death of Portland business owner Matthew Choi, police said.

Allen Coe was taken into custody by the US Marshal's Fugitive Taskforce.

Coe is accused of fatally stabbing Choi and attempting to stab his girlfriend inside the victim's Southeast Portland apartment on Oct. 25. 

The suspect entered the apartment around 2 a.m. while Choi was sleeping on the couch and his girlfriend was sleeping in his bedroom, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office. 

The couple had celebrated Choi's birthday with friends just hours earlier, court records said. 

The girlfriend said she woke up from the sound of the front door closing and saw a dark figure run toward the bathroom. She woke up Choi and went to call police. 

While she was in the bedroom, the suspect allegedly came in and tried to stab her. That's when Choi entered the room, grabbed the suspect and was stabbed multiple times. His girlfriend was not hurt. 

When police responded to the apartment to investigate, they found a green backpack in the communal trash room next to Choi's apartment. The backpack contained two social security cards that had been stolen from two different residents at Choi's complex. 

Police soon learned the suspect was living in the same apartment complex as Choi, and that he had admitted to wearing a green backpack on the night of the murder, which police confirmed through surveillance video. 

The suspect did not explain how the backpack ended up in the room next to Choi's. 

Coe has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon, first-degree burglary and identity theft.

Choi was the co-founder of Choi’s Kimchi and was known to many in the food and beverage community.

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