Janey Luu had been friends with Nguyen for about one year.
Nguyen's inner spirit was even more captivating than what could be seen on the outside.
"She was even more beautiful on the inside," Luu said. She's really sweet, she's a great mom, she loves her kids."
Until recently, Nguyen had been a stay-at-home mom to her two children, one-year-old Salaya and three-year-old Dean.
Nguyen graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton in 2005 and shortly thereafter married her husband, Dennis. Public records show the couple bought their home on Hobart Aveue in San Mateo in December 2007 for nearly $1.2 million; they had recently put the house back on the market for the same price.
In the last four months, Dennis's job as a loan processor with Wachovia slowed down when the bank was bought by Wells Fargo and Kim began working again.
"She doesn't come home until like three or four in the morning because she works at a nightclub, managing nightclubs, so I hope nobody was stalking her or something," Luu said.
Police are talking about what may have motivated Raymond Gee from Oakland to enter Nguyen's home armed with a gun Tuesday morning. As SWAT teams surrounded the home, Nguyen managed to barricade herself in her son's room and pass the two children to safety. She did not survive.
Aside from the sheer tragedy of what happened Nguyen, friends like Janey and even strangers have been struck by her heroic efforts to save her children.
People have been coming by the Nguyen home throughout the day to leave flowers and notes for the family.
"They'll remember that that she saved them and thank god for that," Luu said. "Brave enough, brave woman."
Luu was overcome by grief when she stopped by the Nguyen's home Wednesday. Her only comfort is that Dean and Salaya have their father.
"She's always bragging about Dennis being such a great dad," Luu said.
In Luu's eyes, Nguyen will always be 24-years-old, captured in pictures and the lives of her children.
"Her image just keeps coming into my head and just her face flying in and out and I can't sleep because every time I close my eyes I see her face and it makes me cry," Luu said.