A Vancouver man was sentenced Tuesday to nearly three years in prison for the November 2021 fatal shooting of a 20-year-old man in east Vancouver.
Alexandro Bolon Manrero, 21, pleaded guilty Oct. 25 to second-degree manslaughter. He was originally charged with second-degree murder.
Bolon Manrero will also be required to participate in Thinking for a Change, a rehabilitation program that aims to help people reintegrate into the community upon their release from prison.
Both the prosecutor and defense attorney told the judge the case was heavily negotiated. They noted the time it took to get key testing completed in the case and that there was evidence in favor of Bolon Manrero claiming self-defense in the shooting.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Luka Vitasovic said crime lab testing determined the victim, Josue Lopez Padilla, fired at least one shot from under his clothing during the incident. The prosecutor said Bolon Manrero told police he’d run into Lopez Padilla before was threatened with a gun.
Bolon Manrero also told officers Lopez Padilla was “tagging,” according to the prosecutor. When law enforcement searched Lopez Padilla’s backpack after the shooting, they found cans of spray paint, along with ammunition, which matched a round found at the scene, Vitasovic said.
The prosecutor called it an extremely difficult case.
“We have a mother who’s lost a son and another family with a loved one who’s saddled with a manslaughter conviction and going to prison at a young age,” Vitasovic said. “I don’t pretend this gives closure to Mr. Lopez Padilla’s family, but I hope with enough time they can heal.”
Defense attorney Todd Pascoe said Bolon Manrero has no prior felony history; he said his client also has a supportive family and had a job at the time of the shooting.
“My client has taken responsibility for someone who is not alive anymore because of my client’s actions,” Pascoe said.
Lopez Padilla’s mother told the judge through tears about the pain of losing her son, and she said she hoped for justice.
“The only thing I know is that my son is not here,” she said.
Bolon Manrero apologized to Lopez Padilla’s family and told them he would change things from that night if he could.
Judge Jennifer Snider agreed the case is a tragedy on both sides.
“You have the opportunity to do something different,” Snider told Bolon Manrero. “Mr. Lopez Padilla doesn’t. Your child has the benefit of having a father.”
The Vancouver Police Department responded about 8:30 p.m. Nov. 19, 2021, to the Beverage Tobacco Zone at 11320 N.E. 49th St., in the North Image neighborhood. A store employee told police he was sitting outside when he heard two gunshots and saw two men run to a car and speed off.
He then found a man, later identified as Lopez Padilla, wounded next to the building, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The employee flagged down an ambulance for help. Lopez Padilla was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where he died from his injuries, the affidavit states.
Surveillance video showed two men — one who was later identified by police as Bolon Manrero — arrive in a car at the Beverage Tobacco Zone and purchase items from the store. Bolon Manrero then exited the store and started talking with Lopez Padilla, who was standing nearby, court records state.
The video showed the two men “appear to exchange in a cordial greeting, and continue with apparent relaxed conversation,” the affidavit reads.
Then, two muzzle flashes and a disruption in the air particles could be seen. The shooting was not in view of the camera, according to the affidavit.
Afterward, Bolon Manrero was seen running back to the car and waving for the other man to exit the store, before they drove off, court records state.
Vancouver police located Bolon Manrero on Dec. 2, 2021, with help from the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and the Southwest Washington Regional SWAT team, according to a police press release.