SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — A man accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend Monday was arrested less than 24 hours later while attempting to flee the country, police said.
Cristian Acosta, 22, was arrested Tuesday morning near the Canadian border.
He was wanted in the shooting death of 20-year-old Lucia Pamatz, who was killed around 1:45 p.m. Monday at Brookside Manor Apartments on Hyde Court SE, Salem Police Dept. said.
Police officers who arrived on the scene found Pamatz dead inside the apartment where she reportedly lived with her mother and 4 younger siblings whom she helped raise.
“I feel really bad for that family because she was really sweet,” Pamatz’s friend told KOIN 6 News. “It’s difficult to picture somebody taking somebody’s life.”
Friends said they had no idea Pamatz was in any danger.
But according to court records, Acosta pleaded guilty to assaulting Pamatz in August. He wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near her after the domestic violence incident.
Acosta was sentenced to probation under the conditions that he got treatment for violence issues, stopped drinking alcohol and had no contact with Pamatz.
Neighbors told KOIN 6 News they didn’t hear anything on Monday, even though the apartment complex is relatively small and closed off by a cul-de-sac. Numerous residents gathered outside the complex while police surveyed the scene.
“I’ve witnessed a lot of things… but nothing as heartbreaking as hearing a mother who just recently acknowledged that her baby is gone,” neighbor Joseph Tate said.
Acosta is lodged in Whatcom County Jail in Bellingham where he is waiting to be extradited back to Salem. He’s charged with aggravated murder with a firearm.