TACOMA, WA – Today, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Eric Contreras, 22, with Murder in the First Degree for shooting Victor Zaldivar, 21, at a party near Puyallup. During a confrontation, the defendant pushed the victim to the ground and shot him once in the chest. The defendant is at large.
“This is another unfortunate example of senseless gang violence,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “We invite the public to provide the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department with any information concerning the defendant’s whereabouts.”
In the early morning hours of November 2, 2013, a crowd was gathered at a party in the 3700 block of 40th Avenue East. A group of men claiming to be with the ‘Playboyz,’ a set of the Suerños street gang, were among those in attendance. One of the ‘Playboyz’ asked the victim for a beer. The victim declined to give him one.
Later, the ‘Playboyz’ confronted the victim as he was leaving the party because they felt the victim and his friends were “disrespecting” them. The defendant shoved the victim, who then attempted to punch the defendant. The defendant pushed the victim to the ground, pulled out a handgun and shot the victim at close range.
After the murder, the defendant returned home, washed a load of laundry and left. He failed to show up for work that morning. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Heather Songer, Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office