TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A California man has been charged with the murder of a Tucson woman after a drive-by shooting on I-19 Saturday, June 29.
Mateo Zavala made his initial appearance Sunday, June 30, before a judge in Pima County. Authorities said the 21-year-old is from Santa Ana, Calif.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety arrested Zavala after shots were fired between two cars on I-19 near Green Valley Saturday evening. Authorities said Marilynn Patricia Pacheco, a passenger in the car Zavala shot at, was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The driver of the car and his three-year-old daughter were also injured. As of Sunday morning, AZDPS said they had been treated and released from the hospital.
AZDPS said Zavala and Pacheco knew each other, but didn’t elaborate. A cousin of Pacheco’s told KOLD News 13 that Zavala was an ex-boyfriend “who stalked her.”
The family member described the 25-year-old as "a very beautiful soul.” She said Pacheco was in the car with her friend and his daughter.
In a message, the cousin wrote:
“She was caring and loving and a positive vibe in her family and friends lives. We all loved her.”
Zavala is facing several charges, including first degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and felony endangerment.
The state requested a $2 million cash bond for Zavala. A public defender requested that be reduced due to the suspect’s age and because this was the first and only time he has faced felony allegations or charges.
The public defender also said he spoke with Zavala’s parents prior to the initial appearance and they said Zavala could stay with several people in Tucson during the court process.
Bond was set at $1 million cash. Zavala’s next court date was set for July 10, 2019.
A GoFundMe has been set up for a memorial fund. According to the fundraising website, money donated will go to Pacheco’s funeral expenses. If any funds remain, they will go to an account for her daughter.