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Man charged with fatally shooting partygoer at Tacoma home

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Oct. 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
October 10, 2012 1:53 pm

Prosecutors have charged a 23-year-old man with fatally shooting another man at a Tacoma house party last weekend.

Steven Pawlak is expected to be arraigned today on one count of first-degree murder for the death of 31-year-old Jimmy Arevalo.

He was arrested Monday outside Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where police said he was trying to catch a flight. A one-way ticket to Chicago had been purchased in his name. Pawlak’s mother and brother were with him.

The shooting took place at 12:40 a.m. Sunday during a birthday party at a home in the 200 block of South 29th Street.

According to charging papers:

Pawlak was drinking whiskey and playing with a handgun during the drive to the party, which he attended with his brother and at least one woman.

While still in the car, he showed the woman the loaded clip and said he thought he might “kill someone tonight.”

After arriving at the party, Pawlak was showing off the gun when he fired a single round into the ground. Arevalo and the homeowner’s sister approached him and Arevalo asked Pawlak to put the gun down.

“Pawlak, without warning, fired several shots at Arevalo,” documents state.

He fired more shots as he fled to a nearby car.

Arevalo was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead 40 minutes later.

Detectives recovered 10 shell casings from a .40 caliber Glock handgun at the scene.

During an interview with investigators, Pawlak admitted carrying the gun to the party and being drunk. He claimed he is bipolar and “self-medicates.”

Pawlak said the gun accidentally went off the first time and that he shot Arevalo as the man walked toward him, and that he’d messed up.

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