Man accused of gunning down Tacoma partygoer charged with murder

Updated:

TACOMA, Wash. - A 23-year-old man was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the shooting of a man at a house party in Tacoma Sunday.

 

Prosecutors said Steven Pawlak had been drinking when the victim, 31-year-old Jimmy Arevalo, arrived at a friend’s house in 2000 block of South 29th Street with his girlfriend.

 

Police said a short time later, Pawlak brandished a gun that accidentally discharged.

 

When Arevalo told Pawlak to put the gun down, Pawlak lifted the gun and fired several shots at Arevalo, charging documents said. 

 

Partygoers, including Arevalo’s brothers, cousin and girlfriend, found him on the ground, bleeding from gunshot wounds to the upper torso and legs, police said.

 

 Arevalo was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

 

According to a woman who rode to the party with Pawlak, Pawlak was drinking whiskey and carrying a handgun, police said.  Prosecutors said Pawlak showed the woman the loaded clip of the gun and said that he might “kill someone tonight.”

 

Investigators recovered 10 spent shell casings at the scene.

 

Pawlak was arrested at SeaTac Airport on Monday.

 

Police said a one-way airline ticket to Chicago had been purchased in his name.