Lakewood man charged with fatal shooting at birthday party

Staff writerNovember 6, 2013 

Investigators are looking for a 22-year-old Lakewood man accused of fatally shooting a fellow partygoer last weekend.

A warrant was issued Wednesday for Eric Contreras, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Victor Zaldivar, a 21-year-old Orting man.

Contreras is a suspected gang member known to frequent Lakewood and Tacoma, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

The shooting happened early Saturday at a home in the 3700 block of 40th Avenue East, just east of Tacoma.

Charging documents give this account:

Contreras and Zaldivar did not know each other but both attended a birthday party that night.

They got into some kind of argument during the party. One witnesses said Zaldivar refused to give Contreras and his buddies a beer. Another witness claimed the alleged gang members felt Zaldivar disrespected them somehow.

As Zaldivar and a friend tried to leave the party, Contreras and four others surrounded them. One man pushed Zaldivar and Zaldivar tried to punch him.

Contreras “pushed Zaldivar to the ground then produced a handgun and shot Zaldivar in the chest at close range,” court records state. Arriving deputies found Zaldivar in a friend’s car en route to an area hospital. He died during surgery less than two hours after he was shot.

Contreras’ mother told investigators he came home about 4 a.m. Saturday and did laundry before leaving. He did not show up for work that day. His whereabouts are unknown.

The News Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service