Memphis family hoped authorities would stop him. She died anyway.

Sabrina Nguyen, 18, was killed in one of the first homicides of 2020. In the month before her death, she made several reports to police about escalating threats and violence from her ex-boyfriend, a person of interest in her killing.Sabrina Nguyen loved her long black hair. Sometimes it went up in a bun, but most often, she wore it down. The only times she ever cut it was to trim the dead ends.

It alarmed her family, then, when a few days before Christmas, her hair was raggedly chopped to her shoulders.

It was her ex-boyfriend, again, she told her family.

He’d stolen her phone and car, court records show. A report filed with her insurance company says he physically abused her, threatened to stab her and threatened to kill himself. He threatened to cut off her hair if she didn’t comply with his sexual demands.

Nguyen gave police several accounts of her ex-boyfriend’s escalating threats and violence in the weeks before she died.

The 18-year-old’s stabbing death, the first homicide of the new year, was preventable, her family and friends said.

“I feel like (the police) failed my little sister,” said Jimmy Nguyen, Sabrina Nguyen’s older brother. “Every time we called them and told them what happened … they wasn’t really trying to help.”

Memphis police said the department did what it could: Officers arrested Keedrin K. Coppage, 22, seven times for incidents with Nguyen but whether or not he’d be released from jail was not up to police, MPD spokesperson Lt. Louis Brownlee said.

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