Seattle police are investigating two men with ties to the Vatos Locos gang in connection with a fatal, execution-style shooting outside a birthday party in South Lake Union.
Police have not yet arrested anyone for the murder of 20-year-old Arturo De Larosa, who was found in a construction area behind the old Naval Reserve Armory building on Terry Ave and Valley St. in the early morning hours of August 21st.
However, Seattle Police Department records indicate homicide detectives have identified two gang members—known as “Baby Loco” and “Chueko,” both 18—who fought with De Larosa and displayed a gun several hours before he was killed.
After officers found De Larosa’s body around 3:00am, police talked to several people attending a Quinceanera—a 15-year-old girl’s birthday party—at the city-owned Naval Reserve Armory, who said they hadn’t seen or heard gunfire, but told officers there had been a fight at the party earlier in the evening.
Police records say De Larosa—who, according to Northwestgangs.com, was a member of the Mexican Pride Surenos 13—had also been at a house party in Renton earlier that evening, and was warned that several members of the rival Vatos Locos gang were on their way over and that he should leave “before trouble started.”
It appears De Larosa left the Renton party and headed to the Quinceanera in Seattle. Not long after that, several Vatos Locos members showed up at the South Lake Union party, where De Larosa and the Vatos Locos members began flashing gang signs at each other and arguing.
Witnesses told police the Vatos Locos members jumped De Larosa, knocked him to the ground, and “started pummeling” him. One of the gang members then displayed carrying a chrome-plated handgun.
That was the last time anyone at the party saw De Larosa, police records say.
Police found De Larosa laying face-down in a fenced-off construction site, with a fatal gunshot wound to the back of his head. Two people familiar with the investigation described the shooting as “execution-style.”
Homicide and gang detectives spent the night interviewing witnesses at the party, and were able to identify the two 18-year-old suspects.
Police documents say one of the 18-year-old men is a suspect in two other homicides in King County—including one in Burien—and that the second suspect also has several warrants for assault and other crimes.
Police records do not specify which shootings the man may have been involved in, and the King County sheriff’s office was unable to confirm the man’s suspected connection to any other shootings.
On the 22nd, police tried to meet with one of the 18-year-old suspects, but he failed to show up to the meeting.