Friend of Tacoma homicide victim arrested for drive-by shooting on day of friend’s funeral

A man charged with a drive-by shooting in Tacoma told police he fired a single round into the air in remembrance of a friend killed days before in a gang shooting.

The 29-year-old was spotted driving around the area near East 41st and East T streets playing loud music and allegedly flashing gang signs.

Witnesses called 911 after the man fired one shot near a playground.

When officers found him in the 3900 block of East Roosevelt Avenue, the man told police he was “out here gang-banging” because “they killed my boy,” according to charging papers.

No one was injured in the drive-by shooting.

Police believe the drive-by is connected to a double homicide that occurred in the same area Aug. 13 when five people were shot.

Killed were Rigoberto Villagomez-Dillon, 19, and Antoine Jamir Holmes, 26.

Three women who were shot — ages, 16, 17 and 34 — are expected to survive.

No one has been arrested in that case.

On Aug. 16, the day of the drive-by shooting, a funeral service for one of the homicide victims was canceled because “some unwanted subjects arrived in the area and caused safety concerns,” court records say.

The suspected drive-by shooter said it’s common in his culture to walk around a deceased loved one four times so he decided to drive the area and on his fourth circle fired a round into the air “out of sadness/anger,” records say.

He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to drive-by shooting and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. The man is being held on $100,000 bail.

He has a 2009 conviction for felony harassment and is associated with a Tacoma gang, according to Pierce County court records.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.