TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Brandon Lee Farmer, 29, with murder in the first degree for the 2006 shooting death of Velma Tirado, 45. Farmer shot Tirado in the head. Farmer is currently in custody in West Virginia on unrelated charges. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
On Aug. 27, 2006, Farmer and his friend, Dusty Titus, picked up Tirado, who was working as a prostitute in downtown Tacoma. They drove to a nearby alley, where Tirado performed oral sex on Farmer in the front seat of the vehicle. At some point, Farmer and Tirado transitioned to the open doorway of the truck. When they finished the sex act, Farmer drew a revolver and shot Tirado in the head. Farmer and Titus fled the scene.
No suspects were identified in the initial investigation and the case was referred to the Tacoma Police Department’s Cold Case Unit. In October 2014, TPD Detective Gene Miller received a phone call from investigators in California. Titus told them he was the driver of the truck involved in Tirado’s murder. Miller and FBI Special Agent Terry Postma interviewed Titus, who identified Farmer as the shooter. Farmer then admitted to Miller that he was present during the murder.
“This is another example of collaboration, communication and persistence resulting in accountability,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Our cold-case team continues to successfully resolve these cases for the community.”
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office