Man charged with killing 24-year-old man on Tacoma’s Eastside, police say

TACOMA, Wash. — A 27-year-old man who allegedly shot and killed a 24-year-old man in an East Tacoma neighborhood on Saturday has been charged, according to the Tacoma Police Department.

Police said the 27-year-old suspect has been charged with first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and first-degree assault.

Samuel Garza-Gonzalez, later identified by the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office, was killed on East D Street, police said.

At about 11:17 p.m., 911 dispatchers received multiple reports of shots being fired and the sound of a car fleeing the scene, police said.

Officers who responded found shell casings but did not find any victims.

A short time later, police found out that a 24-year-old had been driven to Tacoma General Hospital.

It was only then that officers determined that Garza-Gonzalez had been fatally shot on East D Street.

Alex Miller, who lives in the neighborhood, talked to KIRO 7 about the violence and said, “It’s happening, you know, Friday through Sunday.”

He described an exchange of gunfire between two vehicles that had pulled onto the street.

Miller described what he saw on a neighbor’s surveillance video.

“The truck turns its lights off and it slows down right in front of my house,” said Miller. “And then this other car turns the corner and stops when he sees them, and the shooting breaks out.”

The victim’s car backed up and took off.

“And I ducked behind the pillar on my porch,” said a neighbor who also heard the incident.

He stood in his front yard, not wanting to be identified.

“And then I saw a white truck with its headlights off go speeding by south on D Street here,” he said. “After that, I went inside.”

“I mentioned it to one of my neighbors,” the neighbor said. “And she said the guy who died was a relative of hers.”

Tacoma police detectives obtained video footage that identified the vehicle.

On Sunday at 2:49 p.m., while detectives were looking for more evidence, they saw the vehicle used during the homicide with a driver inside. Officers tried to pull the driver over in the 3400 block of East McKinley Avenue, but the man refused to stop and a pursuit began.

The chase ended at River Road and Meridian Avenue when the man’s car broke down. The driver and sole occupant of the car, a 27-year-old man, was taken into custody and booked into jail for eluding police and two unrelated warrants. His car was impounded for a search warrant.