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Charges: Teen killed in front of his mother in South Park ambush

Seattle Post-Intelligencer logo Seattle Post-Intelligencer 7/12/2018 By Lynsi Burton, SeattlePI

© Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc Dallas R. Esparza, 16, was sitting at a picnic table with his mother outside a South Park taco truck Feb. 7 when a group of people swarmed around them, sending Esparza running.

Juan Jose Macias, wearing a bandana around his face, chased after him in the parking lot, pulled a pistol from his sweatshirt pocket and fired at Esparza four times, reports say.

Esparza died five days later at Harborview Medical Center. Macias was only arrested Saturday in connection with the crime. Cops took him in on separate charges, but he allegedly admitted to shooting Esparza during an interview with detectives.

Prosecutors charged 27-year-old Macias Wednesday with first-degree murder and illegal firearm possession.

RELATED: Police make arrest in South Park slaying of teen

The ambush occurred in the parking lot of the Chevron gas station at 8819 14th Avenue South in the South Seattle neighborhood. While Esparza sat with his mother in the covered eating area near the taco truck, five to eight people reportedly approached them, according to Seattle police reports.

The group's descent sent Esparza running through the parking lot, followed by Macias, surveillance footage purportedly shows. Macias, upon drawing his weapon, shot Esparza in the head, shoulder, buttocks and foot.

Bystanders, including Esparza's mother, attempted to give him first aid until medics arrived and took him to Harborview Medical Center.

However, Esparza died Feb. 12.

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The mother fielded a phone call from an anonymous person naming Macias as her son's killer. Other witnesses told detectives the same and claimed Macias talked of having "taken care of his rival" and washed his hands with bleach after the shooting. They also reportedly claimed he gave the gun he used to another person for disposal.

Police found Macias on Saturday at the same gas station where the group ambushed Esparza. They arrested him for an outstanding warrant and for investigation of possessing stolen property, as they allegedly caught him seated in a car stolen out of Kent.

While detectives interviewed Macias, he reportedly admitted to shooting Esparza. He claimed Esparza robbed him on New Year's Day.

Macias remains jailed on $2 million bail.

SeattlePI reporter Lynsi Burton can be reached at 206-448-8381 or lynsiburton@seattlepi.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LynsiBurton_PI. Find more from Lynsi here.

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