An 18-year-old Federal Way man was charged this week with first-degree murder, accused of fatally shooting another man at a house party early Saturday. The two had fought a short time earlier but had shaken hands and presumably made up.
At a house party in Federal Way early Saturday, two young men got into a fist fight over which one of them makes more money, according to police.
Other partygoers broke up the fight, the two men shook hands and everyone went back to having a good time — that is, until Dario Martinez-Castro returned a half-hour later with a handgun and shot his adversary in the back as the other man danced with a young woman, King County prosecutors say.
Martinez-Castro, 18, was charged this week with first-degree murder, accused of firing multiple shots at 21-year-old Pedro Ramirez-Perez, who died in an ambulance before medics could get him to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, according to charging papers.
Martinez-Castro was identified as the shooter by several witnesses — including the woman Ramirez-Pedro was dancing with — and was arrested a short time later in the parking lot of a nearby restaurant, the charges say.
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Martinez-Castro, who has no criminal history, remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail, jail and court records show.
The charges say Martinez-Castro instigated the fist fight, then changed clothing and tried to conceal his face with the hood of his sweatshirt when he returned to the party. Ramirez-Perez was dancing with his back to the door when he was shot and collapsed on the living-room floor:
“Martinez-Castro walked into the crowded house, pointed the gun at Ramirez-Perez, who was dancing with a young woman, and fired no less than six shots into Ramirez-Perez,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jason Simmons wrote in charging papers, calling the death a premeditated and senseless killing. “Martinez-Castro’s willingness to use lethal violence over a perceived slight demonstrates the extraordinary risk he presents to the community.”
The shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. Saturday at a house on a cul-de-sac on 16th Court Southwest, less than a quarter mile from where Martinez-Castro lives with his family, the charges say. While police were interviewing his relatives, Martinez-Castro phoned his stepfather, who passed his phone over to one of the officers, according to charging papers.
Martinez-Castro, who said he was at a friend’s apartment, agreed to meet officers in the parking lot of a restaurant on Southwest Campus Drive, about a mile south of where the shooting occurred, the charges say.
“He did not ask why the police wanted to speak to him and did not show any emotion when he was told that he was facing Murder 1 charges,” charging papers say.
Martinez-Castro claimed he had fallen asleep at his friend’s apartment more than an hour before the shooting, the charges say. But he allowed an officer to view his cellphone and the call log showed Martinez-Castro called his friend seven minutes after the first 911 call was made to report the shooting, the charges say.
Martinez-Castro is to be arraigned April 24 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.