Eugene Orlando Payne Jr., 26, was arrested August 24 in connection with the eastside shooting death of Eric Noriega, 39, who was killed after an argument at a house near East Pima Street and North Swan Road, Tucson Police Department spokeswoman, Sgt. Kimberly Bay, said in a news release. He is facing first-degree murder charges.
Noriega was visiting a home at about 6:30 p.m. when he argued with two men who arrived after him, Bay said.
Noriega was arguing about property before being shot. He died a short time later at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson.
Tucson police detectives continued the investigation and learned that the two men involved in the argument with Noriega fled in a white Dodge Ram truck. They were also able to identify Payne Jr. as the shooter, and began working with the U.S. Marshals Wanted Task Force.
The truck was located in the area of South Mission and West Irvington Road, with two men inside. Tucson police officers attempted a traffic stop, then began a pursuit when the driver refused to pull over, Bay said.
The driver stopped the vehicle a short time later and both men got out of the car. The driver was arrested without incident, but the passenger fled the area on foot, Bay said.
Patrol officers, K-9 units, SWAT officers and the TPD air unit saturated the area to search for the man, and used a public address system to tell residents in the area to stay in their homes, Bay said.
Eventually, the man was found while attempting to climb a wall and was arrested with the help of the Tucson police dog, Bay said.
Payne was identified as the passenger who fled the traffic stop. He was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police said Payne was released from the hospital and booked into the Pima County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary.
The driver who was detained was identified as the other man who was present for the shooting, Bay said. That man, identified as George Anthony Contreras, 49, was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of hindering prosecution, unlawful felony flight, marijuana possession and unrelated misdemeanor warrants.