• After 12 years on the run, man arrested in 2006 fatal shooting in Tacoma

    By: Stacia Glenn, The News Tribune


    TACOMA, Wash. - A man charged with fatally shooting a friend at a Tacoma intersection was arrested after being on the run for 12 years.

    Jesus Mederos, 32, will make his first court appearance Friday and be arraigned on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm for the Oct. 20, 2006, death of Robert Tapia, 18.

    A warrant was issued for Mederos’ arrest in 2006 but detectives could not find him.

    He was booked into Pierce County Jail late Thursday.

    Police are still unsure what prompted the shooting.

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    Charging papers give this account: 

    Tapia argued with his girlfriend, Nancy Aguilar, the night he died, first on the phone and then at a schoolyard.

    A friend tried to calm down Tapia but he stormed off.

    The friend then got his brothers, including Mederos, to try and calm Tapia down while Aguilar found her boyfriend and convinced him to get in her car.

    They were driving near East 36th and K streets when Aguilar saw Mederos running toward her car with a gun in his hand.

    Prosecutors contend Mederos fired through the open passenger window, striking Tapia.

    He died at a hospital a short time later.

    “We can’t understand why,” Tapia’s stepfather, Luis Montes, told The News Tribune in 2006.

    Tapia had just graduated from Lincoln High School and started a job at a fast-food restaurant near Sea-Tac Airport. He wanted to help support the family.

    Mederos was convicted of robbery in 2002 and was prohibited from having a gun.

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