Tacoma killer captured in Mexico after 9 years on the run sentenced to 30 years

TACOMA, WA – June 29, 2018.

Gabriel Nevarez, 29, was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for the 2007 murder of Kyle Grinnell, 21, in a drive-by shooting.

Nevarez, a U.S. citizen, was taken into custody in February 2016, in Michoacan, Mexico, by the Policía Federal Ministerial, in close coordination with the FBI. Mexican authorities transferred Nevarez to FBI custody in Mexico City.  FBI agents then brought Nevarez back to Washington State.

“It doesn’t matter how long it takes or how far we have to go, we will hold violent criminals accountable and keep our community safe,” Said prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

During the afternoon of February 21, 2007, Nevarez drove to Grinnell’s home on South Tyler Street looking to settle an old score with Juan Carlos Ruiz, 19. Nevarez arrived at the home and found Ruiz outside at the top of a stairway.  Grinnell was below him about 20 feet away and in the line of fire between Nevarez’s car and Ruiz.

When the shooting started, witnesses heard gunfire coming from Nevarez’s car.  He was hanging outside the driver’s side window with both hands on a silver .38 caliber revolver, firing toward the victim. Grinnell died at the scene.  Ruiz, the apparent target, was not injured.

The case was handled by Deputy Prosecutor Greg Greer who asked the court for the long sentence.