Alleged gang leader faces attempted murder charge

Victim was moving, had asked to leave gang




Surrounded by a mob of red-attired people, the reputed leader of a local Bloods-affiliated gang allegedly tried to kill his friend who had said he wanted out of the gang.

The mob shouted, “This is for Piru,” just before Christian A. “Talaban” Garcia shot the victim, according to investigators with the Safe Streets Gang Task Force.

Then they abandoned the victim, bleeding from several gunshot wounds, in a field in east Vancouver’s Bennington neighborhood. Some Samaritans found him and called for help.

After a monthlong investigation, Garcia was arrested and appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree attempted murder. Garcia, 27, of Vancouver is the leader of the local 152nd Avenue Bloods gang, according to investigators.

Judge Suzan Clark held him in Clark County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. She appointed Vancouver attorney Jeff Barrar to defend him. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge Thursday.

The victim was planning to move out of the area with his girlfriend and, as a result, wanted out of the gang, according to a court affidavit by Vancouver police Detective Tim Martin.

Garcia indicated that “this would not be a possibility” and said he wanted to meet with the victim to further discuss the situation, Martin wrote. After the victim left his apartment March 22, Garcia and other suspected gangsters allegedly confronted him in a field near the 12200 block of Southeast Fifth Street.

They accused him of disloyalty and claimed he had joined the Nortenos gang after his recent release from prison, Martin wrote. Despite the victim’s denial and attempt to explain, Garcia allegedly ordered the others to attack him. The mob beat the victim to the ground and gave a tribute to Piru, a term associated with Bloods gang members, according to investigators.

“Hand me my strap,” Garcia said, according to the court affidavit. A woman in the crowd passed a .45-caliber pistol to Garcia, and he shot the victim at least four times at close range, Martin wrote. Garcia and his companions then ran away, according to court records.

Emergency responders were called just before 11 p.m.

Investigators haven’t disclosed details about the victim’s injuries or condition.