(File photo)

(File photo)

Federal Way Police investigate Christmas Day homicide

Officers arrived at the Pavilion Apartments to find Pedro Balderas in the parking lot with gunshot wounds.

A 25-year-old man died around 8:41 p.m. Dec. 25 at an apartment complex on the 1900 block of SW Campus Drive, according to Federal Way Police.

Officers responded to 911 calls from neighbors and arrived at the Pavilion Apartments to find Pedro Balderas in the parking lot with gunshot wounds.

Cmdr. Kyle Buchanan of the Federal Way Police department told The Federal Way Mirror that “officers initiated lifesaving measures until they were relieved by medics,” but that Balderas ultimately succumbed to his injuries. FWPD detectives are investigating the homicide and at this time, there are no other known injuries and no one in custody, according to police.

In a KIRO-TV 7 video interview with a woman who identified herself as Balderas’s mother, Rebecca Armas shared her grief. She said that her son’s girlfriend called her, saying that her son had been shot. Unfortunately, “when I came to the scene they already told me that he was passed away,” she said.

Armas said her son grew up in Federal Way and knew many people in the community. In the tearful interview, she asked anyone with information to come forward, noting that there were most likely a lot of people home during the holiday in the neighboring apartments who may have seen something.

Pedro Balderas was a week away from his 26th birthday and was building a career at a local car dealership in Renton. Dozens of friends and community members have shared posts and comments mourning the loss of Balderas on social media.

Taijaa Robinson expressed her shock, posting “he don’t do violence ... he always tried to be the life of the party and peace maker.”

Willie Maverick Johnson said he was just talking to Balderas about getting a car through his job at the dealership and that he was always “nice to my kids,” and that Johnson is “heartbroken.”

Childhood friend Emilee Oppolzer said in a post:

“I hope justice is found for you friend. You were taken too soon. I’ll never forget dash point days. We all had a lot of good memories together!” In a message to The Mirror, she added that he “has always been a happy person, he always had a smile on his face, always joking with friends. Everyone loved him he was an amazing person and friend.” Although they weren’t as close after she moved out of state, she said, “it feels unreal to know someone I spent such a big part of my life growing up with is gone.”

Chavonne Sanford posted that “from elementary school through high school even our Federal Way hawk days, you were always the classrooms ray of sunshine.”

Sanford told The Mirror in a message that she just wants to “let them all know, he was a genuine guy and his heart was so pure.”

Selina Mayo added that Balderas was “one of the nicest people ever,” and “an amazing friend” who “was there for me time after time.”

This is at least the second shooting on this block this year. On March 15, 2023, a teen also died of gunshot wounds in the 1900 block of SW Campus Drive.

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