Investigation continues into Pasco homicide

Investigation continues into Pasco homicide
PASCO, Wash. -- We don't yet know if a Pasco homeowner will face criminal charges for killing a man last week.

Stephan Aceves was shot multiple times while trying to get into a home on Savary Drive.

Now prosecutors say they have not decided whether this is considered justified.

The prosecutor and a representative from Pasco PD held a news conference Tuesday but made no announcement on whether there would be charges.

The shooting on Savary Drive appears to be a case of mistaken identity. In this case, it was the house that led to confusion.

The family of Stephan Aceves believes the 28-year old did not realize he was trying to get into a stranger's home at 2:30 a.m. last Friday.

Rudy Ontiveros heard someone pounding on his door and armed himself. A woman inside the home called 911 to report an intruder. Police won't say how Aceves got inside the home, whether the door was locked or unlocked or whether he forced his way in. They do believe some words were exchanged between Ontiveros and Aceves.

Then shots were fired.

When police rushed to the quiet west Pasco neighborhood, Aceves was already dead.

The deputy coroner told KEPR it was a homicide, saying the young man was shot multiple times in the head and upper body.

In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant said he has not yet made a decision on whether anyone will face criminal charges for the death.

"When they hear homicide, that means somebody killed another person. Well, that's what we have in this case. There's no disputing that somebody died out of this incident. The question we're still investigating and we're trying to determine is whether or not this was a justified homicide," he said.

Aceves' family paints a much different picture of that night.

They were noticeably disappointed that it was not announced someone will be held accountable for the 28 year old's death.

They say during a night of drinking, Aceves stepped outside of his stepbrother's home to smoke - the stepbrother's home just kitty-corner from that of Ontiveros.

The family believes Aceves had no malicious intent and that he simply mixed up the houses and didn't deserve to be killed.

His father, Alfredo Aceves, said, "He would smile from ear to ear no matter what. He uplifted everybody."

The investigation is far from over. Police say the Ontiveros family is cooperating, but they have a ways to go before any conclusion is reached. Aceves' family wants answers and justice but will accept whatever the prosecutor decides.

Alfredo Aceves continued, "Mr. Ontiveros is going to have to deal with this either down here or upstairs."

It's important to note the words homicide and murder are not interchangeable. As the prosecutor said, homicide simply means a person died at someone else's hands.

A homicide could be an accident, whereas murder implies that the person intended to kill.

So while this is ruled a homicide, it has not been called a murder.