A Vancouver man accused of fatally shooting a rival gang member in an east Vancouver parking lot last month appeared in Clark County Superior Court on Thursday.
Luis Fernando Perez-Mejia, 23, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of second-degree murder, drive-by shooting, possession of a stolen firearm and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.
Judge John Fairgrieve set his bail at $1.5 million. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 28.
The Vancouver Police Department said Thursday that the investigation is ongoing and “additional arrests are anticipated.”
Vancouver police officers responded around 6:13 p.m. Aug. 21 to a parking lot at 2715 N.E. 138th Ave. for reports of a shooting. They found Armando P. Valencia, 34, fatally shot in the chest, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Witnesses told police they heard gunshots and saw a blue car speed away.
A witness said he was meeting with Valencia in the parking lot to buy a set of speakers, court records state. He told police that Perez-Mejia and Ludvin Alexander Urbina Marroquin drove up next to Valencia’s car in a blue Honda Civic. He said he knows Perez-Mejia by the name “Psycho” and Urbina Marroquin by the name “Dark.” He also said he thought the pair was affiliated with a gang.
The witness said that the pair asked Valencia what his gang affiliation was and that Valencia showed them a hand symbol, according to the affidavit. He then said Perez-Mejia rolled his window down more and displayed a revolver. He said he thought Perez-Mejia fired four shots at Valencia and that Valencia had been shot in the upper left chest. Other witnesses told police they’d heard between three and seven shots, the affidavit states.
Law enforcement databases show Perez-Mejia as a Sureno gang member and show Valencia as a rival Norteno member, according to court records. “This conflict has oftentimes, in the past, resulted in serious violence to include murder,” the affidavit states.
The witness later identified Perez-Mejia from photos as the person who shot Valencia, according to court records.
He told police Perez-Mejia and Urbina Marroquin sped off after the shooting.
Police reviewed surveillance video of the parking lot, but Valencia’s car isn’t visible, the affidavit states. However, police could see a blue car drive up to where Valencia’s car would be for about 50 seconds before speeding off rapidly.
Paramedics tried to perform aid on Valencia, but he did not survive his injuries. Police found multiple bullet holes in Valencia’s car, which they said corroborated what Vallencourt told them.
The witness told police that after the shooting, Urbina Marroquin called him and told him to tell anyone who asked about the shooting that a different car was there instead of the blue Honda.
Police conducted surveillance on Perez-Mejia after the shooting and said he drove a blue Honda Civic, according to the affidavit. Police then conducted a search warrant on Perez-Mejia’s car and found two guns inside, including one that matched Vallencourt’s description of the one used to shoot Valencia and evidence from the parking lot. The revolver had previously been reported stolen.
During a police interview, Perez-Mejia said he was at the parking lot during the shooting and that he heard gunshots, according to the affidavit, but he denied being the shooter.
Urbina Marroquin told police that he was there for the shooting, too, and that Perez-Mejia shot Valencia. He also admitted to calling Vallencourt and telling him to lie about the car, the affidavit states.
Court records show Urbina Marroquin has not been charged in connection with the shooting.