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UPDATED with PHOTOS: Four more charged in deadly South Tacoma shooting

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on March 31, 2010 at 8:22 am |
March 31, 2010 3:25 pm
Byron Alvarez

Pierce County prosecutors have charged four men with second-degree murder in connection with last week’s deadly shooting in a South Tacoma alley.

Warrants have been issued for the arrests of Byron E. Alvarez, 32; Richard C. Sanchez, 20; Santiago V. Mederos, 18; and Andres M. Mendez, 24.

Prosecutors charged the four Tuesday in the death of Saul Lucas-Alfonso last Thursday. Earlier in the week, prosecutors charged a 15-year-old boy with second-degree murder in the case.

Santiago Mederos

The teen made his first court appearance Monday in juvenile court on the charges. A hearing is scheduled for next month to determine whether he will be tried as an adult. The News Tribune is not naming him because he’s been charged as a juvenile.

The deadly shooting occurred about 12:20 a.m. Thursday in the alley of the 7000 block between South Puget Sound Avenue and South Tacoma Way. Officers arrived and found Lucas-Alfonso, 25, mortally wounded. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital a short time later.

Andres Mendez

Charging documents indicate the five accused in Lucas-Alfonso’s death went out early Thursday to collect on a debt that Alvarez believed he was owed by another man.

The five allegedly broke into the debtor’s car, which was parked in an alley behind the 7000 block of South Puget Sound Avenue, and started ransacking it for valuables, the documents state. Lucas-Alfonso and two friends arrived in the alley, confronted the group of five suspects and a fight broke out.

The 15-year-old boy told detectives his group started to lose the fight, so they headed to their vehicle. Someone in his group fired a shot, which hit Lucas-Alfonso, charging documents state.

Richard Sanchez

Lucas-Alfonso’s friends told police that they’d gone to a nearby house with Lucas-Alfonso and spotted a group of people in an alley near a vehicle. The group in the alley left but returned a few minutes later, they said.

Two members of the returning group approached one of Lucas-Alfonso’s friends and demanded his wallet. The man said no, court documents state.

“The witness stated that he was knocked to the ground, where he was punched and kicked multiple times,” court documents state. “Police noted that this witness was holding his right ear and had blood covering his face and hands.”

One of Lucas-Alfonso’s friends then heard a gunshot but did not see who fired it, the documents state.

The teenage suspect told investigators that after the shooting, Sanchez, Mederos and Mendez met and agreed to say nothing about the shooting, charging documents state.

The homicide remains under investigation.

UPDATE: Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of any of the four men. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Reach Crime Stoppers at 253-591-5959.

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