A discussion about diapers was a ruse that ended in a man trying to shoot the father of his new girlfriend’s children early Tuesday in Parkland, prosecutors say.
The 24-year-old Tacoma man was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Pierce County Superior Court on charges of second-degree assault and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. His bail was set at $75,000.
According to charging documents:
Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were called to the parking lot of a grocery store in the 11100 block of Pacific Avenue South about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday after a report of shots being fired.
Deputies arrived to find two cars about 50 feet apart. One had its doors open with one person standing by it, and the other had three men and a woman around it. So they split up to interview the people involved.
The man at his car with the open door told deputies one of the men in the other group shot at him, then hid the gun underneath the car when deputies arrived.
He said he was the woman’s ex-boyfriend and fathered two young children with her before they broke up recently, and that the man who shot at him was her new man.
The victim had received multiple text messages from his ex’s phone about meeting with the man to have a discussion and figured they came from the new boyfriend. He also figured it would only be the new boyfriend who showed up, because his ex had a no-contact order against him.
The victim began to argue with his ex, who then hit him in the face.
He pushed her away from him, but then the new boyfriend started firing his handgun at him. Every shot missed, but deputies later found five shell casings on the ground, bullet strikes on the pavement and one bullet lodged inside the victim’s car.
Meanwhile, the other deputy ordered the four people at the other car to the ground. Three immediately complied, but a fourth looked like he was following the instructions but was sliding behind the car to get out of view.
The man who tried to conceal himself told the deputies that he and his girlfriend went to the store to meet the victim over an argument about their children’s diapers. The man said he didn’t want the woman to go alone, so he and a friend came along.
The new boyfriend said the victim and the woman were arguing in the parking lot and starting to fight when a white car entered the parking lot. He said someone fired at them from the white car, then fled.
The friend stuck to that same story at first, then later said that he, the new boyfriend and the woman came to the store intending to start a fight.
He said the woman and the victim started to fight before the new boyfriend took out his gun and started shooting at the victim.
A store clerk identified all of the involved people and said he watched the new boyfriend shoot at the victim.