TACOMA, WA – Today Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Jose Jonael Ayala Reyes, 24, with Murder in the First Degree for the stabbing of Samuel Cruces Vasquez in April of this year. Bail was set at $2,000,000 at the arraignment.
“Our gang unit has successfully reduced gang violence, and we are continuing to vigorously prosecute gang crimes,” said Prosecutor Lindquist. “Gang violence in Pierce County leads nowhere but prison.”
According to reports, on April 28, 2016 at about 11:19 p.m., Tacoma Police Department patrol officers were dispatched to 7850 S. Trafton Street and found Samuel Cruces Vasquez lying in the road. Vasquez’s car was up against another car nearby with the engine still running. Officers found a large amount of blood in the vehicle and a large amount of blood on the cement leading from Vasquez’s vehicle to where he was lying in the road. Officers also found a butterfly type knife on the ground next to Vasquez’s vehicle.
Vasquez was taken to Tacoma General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Pierce County Medical Examiner found numerous stab wounds on his body. She determined the cause of death to be multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma. It appeared that Vasquez may have been run over while he was in the road.
Police reviewed surveillance footage taken from a nearby business. The surveillance footage shows Vasquez’s car stop in the street and one person approach the driver’s side of the vehicle from the rear, opening the rear driver’s side door. It shows another person lean over the front passenger seat and strike the driver of the vehicle before the vehicle drives forward out of the camera view.
Officers also reviewed Vasquez’s telephone records. They determined that a telephone number used by Ayala Reyes had been in constant contact Vasquez prior to the stabbing.
Officers located a black shoe wedged between the front passenger door and the door frame of Vasquez’s car, as well as a blue glove turned inside out with blood on it. When police interviewed Ayala Reyes after the stabbing, he identified the shoe and the knife located at the scene as his. He stated that he stabbed Vasquez in the leg, but denied stabbing him anywhere else. Ayala Reyes stated he had done it to enter into the MS-13 gang.
Ayala Reyes verified El Salvador as his country of origin, and the consul will be notified.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, please contact John Nourse at (253) 798-6243, [email protected].