Prosecutors charge alleged casino shooter with seven counts of first-degree assault
By ROBERT WHALE
Auburn Reporter News reporter
August 3, 2011 · Updated 4:44 PM
King County Prosecutors last week filed seven counts of first-degree assault against a 42-year-old Covington man they accuse of going on a jealousy-fueled shooting rampage in the early morning hours of July 24 at the crowded Galaxy nightclub in the Muckleshoot Casino.
According to charging papers, Cesar Chaparro-Vielma shot his estranged wife, Blanca Arroyos, her boyfriend, Marco Hernandez-Maradiaga, and his wife's two sisters, Etalvina Morales-Arroyos and Veronica Arroyos.
Prosecutors claim the alleged shooter also struck three bystanders with stray bullets.
Prosecutors have tacked a firearm sentencing enhancement onto each charge, and with the enhancements Chaparro-Vielma is looking at 89 to 101 years in prison. He remains in jail, with bail set at $1 million.
Chaparro-Vielma will be arraigned at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Courtroom GA at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.
Auburn Police Detective Aaron Williams's account, which relies on video surveillance and witness interviews, forms the basis for the charges, as follows:
According to Williams, Chaparro-Vielma had first come to the casino at midnight to confront his estranged wife. The two argued and he grabbed and shook her and left.
At about 1:09 a.m., Williams' account continues, Chaparro-Vielma returned, disappearing into a bathroom for a few minutes. He then walked straight to the Galaxy, where he stayed for about 19 minutes before he made his way across the dance floor to where his intended victims were dancing and began firing.
According to Williams' account, surveillance video shows Chaparro-Vielma first approaching Hernandez-Maradiaga. He pulls his gun with his left hand and fires at least two rounds at Hernandez-Maradiaga 's head. Somehow Hernandez-Maradiaga only receives grazing wounds to the back of his head. He falls down.
According to Williams account of the surveillance video, Chaparro-Vielma then takes a two-handed grip on his gun and fires at his wife, standing near her fallen boyfriend. She ducks, and her sister, Etelvina, standing behind her, is shot in the face. She falls to the ground.
Shot to the chest
According to Williams' account, Blanca can be seen on the video on her knees in front of her husband, apparently trying to grab him, but he allegedly aims his gun down with one hand and squeezes out one shot, striking her in her right chest.
As that is happening, Williams' account continues, Veronica Arroyos can be seen on the video trying to grab the gun. She struggles with Chaparro-Vielma for a split second before releasing him, turning and starting to run. Chaparro-Vielma raises his gun and fires once, possibly twice, hitting her in the back, according to Williams' account.
According to Williams, Chaparro-Vielma puts the gun to his left temple and begins to walk out of the club. A casino security officer meets him, tackles him and wrests the gun from his grip.
Medics transported Hernandez-Maradiaga , Blanca Arroyos, Etalvina Morales-Arroyos and Veronica Arroyos to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Doctors released Hernandez-Maradiaga later that day with non-life-threatening injuries. Blanca Arroyos and her sister, Etalvina Morales-Arroyos, were listed in critical but stable condition. Veronica Arroyos was released from the hospital several days later.
Bystanders Taniela Niutupuivahai, Crystal Dandridge-Jackson and Kristen Anderson were transported to Valley Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Doctors treated and later released them all.
According to Williams' account, Chaparro-Vielma later admitted to police that he had followed his estranged wife and her new boyfriend to the casino. He said he "couldn't stand it" any more, so he walked up to the couple and opened fire.
According to Williams' account, Chaparro-Vielma said of the shooting, "I think I made a mistake."Contact Auburn Reporter News reporter Robert Whale at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-833-0218, ext. 5052.