Memorial for homicide victim Hiram Figueroa at Brannan Park, 1019 28th St. NE, Auburn. Robert Whale/Auburn Reporter

Memorial for homicide victim Hiram Figueroa at Brannan Park, 1019 28th St. NE, Auburn. Robert Whale/Auburn Reporter

Prosecutor charges suspected killer of Auburn man with second-degree murder

Hiram Figueroa was shot June 18 at Brannan Park during dispute.

Hiram Figueroa, 44, only wanted to stop the fight between his daughter and another teen on June 18 at Brannan Park, but Auburn police say that when he stepped between the girls, David Villalobos-Denning shot him several times and killed him.

On Wednesday, June 24, the King County Prosecutor’s office charged the 19-year-old Puyallup man with one count of second-degree murder, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Petersen had asked the court to raise Villalobos-Denning’s bail to $2 million from the $1 million the court set at his first appearance because of the danger he posed to the community if released, but that request was denied, and his bail remains at $1 million.

According to the following summary of the Auburn Police Department’s Certification of Determination of Probable Cause, on which the prosecutor’s office is basings its case, here is what happened.

According to police, Figueroa’s two daughters — ages 20 and 17 — and a 16-year-old girl who was a family friend, had gotten into a fight with an 18-year-old girl, a 20-year-old man, and Villalobos-Denning near the south side of Cascade Middle School on June 17.

According to the report, during that fight, Villalobos-Denning kicked Figueroa’s 17-year-old daughter and the family friend in the face.

On June 18, according to the police account, the three girls began to get calls and messages via social media from the 18-year-old girl they’d been in the fight with, and possibly another girl, a 17-year old. In messages, the 18-year-old allegedly challenged Figueroa’s daughters to a “legit” fight, a one-on-one. According to what the three girls later told police, they had been warned that if they refused, someone would “shoot up” their house.

According to police , the plan was for the three to drive to the park, but Figueroa and his wife were against that. The final decision was that the entire group would go to the park and settle the quarrel between the girls without actually fighting.

According to the report, the two opponents of the three girls and other teens and males between 16 and 22 years old were already there when Figueroa’s daughters and their friend arrived. According to police, Figueroa’s daughters began fighting the other two girls on the east side of the brick bathroom and closed concession area as people stood around and watched.

According to police, upon learning who had kicked her daughter and the young family friend in the face the night before, Mrs. Figueroa walked over to Villalobos-Denning, confronted him about the previous fight and told him he shouldn’t be hitting girls.

According to police, Mrs. Figueroa later told police that Villalobos-Denning did not say anything, but produced a handgun, pointed it at her face and told her to “back up.” At that point, the 16-year-old family friend stepped in between them and escorted the mother away from Villalobos-Denning.

According to police, Mr. Figueroa, alerted to what had just happened, confronted Villalobos-Denning and called him names for what he had just done. At that point, the elder Figueroas and Villalobos-Denning moved apart, while the two girls continued to fight

According to the account, to stop the fight, Mr. Figueroa walked over and pushed the girl who was on his daughter off of her.

At this point, as several people later told police, they saw Villalobos-Denning come from the northeast at about 20 feet away, pull out a handgun and shoot Mr. Figueroa while he was still trying to stop the fight. One person described being about 10 feet behind Figueroa and watching as Villalobos-Denning fired and continued shooting him, even as he was falling to the ground. According to Mrs. Figueroa, Villalobos-Denning then gave the gun to another guy and the two ran off to the east.

Multiple calls starting coming in to police at about 6:53 p.m., informing them shots had been fired during what appeared to have been a fight at Brannan Park and people were scattering on foot and by vehicle.

According to the account, when an Auburn Police Department sergeant reached the intersection of I Street and 28th Street NE and began trying to prevent vehicles from leaving, a girl in a silver Volvo stopped to tell him that her father was bleeding heavily in the front passenger seat with multiple gunshot wounds.

Although the sergeant tried to control Figueroa’s bleeding, Figueroa later died in the emergency room at Harborview Medical Center.

According to the police account, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet finalized the results of its autopsy, but preliminary findings indicate that a possible shot-related defect to an artery caused his severe blood loss.

Initial information included a description of Villalobos-Denning as being light-skinned Hispanic or white man around 20 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and heavy set, with straight dark hair and wearing a blue hoody, a white T-shirt and gray or black sweatpants.

After speaking with other officers and detectives and with a school resource officer who knows Villalobos-Denning from multiple prior contacts, police determined that the descriptions and name were consistent.

According to the police account, witnesses picked Villalobos-Denning out from a photo montage as the person who had shot Mr. Figueroa and the same person who had pointed the gun at Mrs. Figueroa.

According to the police account, a check of Villalobos-Denning’s criminal history showsconvictions for second-degree assault and first-degree rape of a child, making his possession of a firearm not only a violation of his Department of Corrections conditions for active supervision, but also making him a felon in possession of a firearm.

On June 19, two Auburn police detectives contacted at her home one of the young women who fought the Figueroa’s daughters and family friend, where they learned that she had been shot in the buttocks. Information from other witnesses revealed that another girl had also been shot in the leg. However, police have not been able to find her to verify that account at this time.


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