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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Court documents: 68-year-old killed man who was dating woman he wanted to date

Aug. 23, 2022 Updated Tue., Aug. 23, 2022 at 9:07 p.m.

The 68-year-old man charged with murder for Sunday night’s shooting in the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood shot a man who was dating a woman he wanted to date, according to search warrant documents.

Spokane police allege Duarte A. Cordero, who has a first-degree murder conviction from 1990, shot Joey V. Cortez in the head. Cortez’s age wasn’t provided.

Court records said officers found Cortez with gunshot wounds at 1315 W. Shannon Ave. but still alive shortly before 11 p.m.

As police provided medical aid to Cortez, Cordero was walking eastbound on Shannon Avenue from the area of Cedar Street. Officers detained Cordero and eventually booked him into the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder. Cortez died at the hospital, according to court records.

Cortez’s girlfriend, who lives nearby on West Shannon Avenue, told police an intoxicated Cordero showed up at the house around 1 p.m. Sunday. She said Cordero was trying to date her but she did not want to date him.

She said Cordero slapped her in the face and the homeowner, a different woman, told Cordero to leave. As Cordero left, he said, “You just watch, you just watch, you will see,” Cortez’s girlfriend told police.

Around 10:45 p.m., Cortez’s girlfriend asked her boyfriend a question. Cortez and another female were outside near the back door.

She told police she then heard three gunshots come from outside and the female entered the girlfriend’s home and said, “Puerto Rico has a gun. He shot Joey.”

Puerto Rico is Cordero’s street name, the girlfriend said. Cordero then tried to enter the residence through the back door.

Cordero made his initial appearance Tuesday in Spokane County District Court. He remained in the Spokane County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Cordero was convicted in Pierce County in 1990 in the killing of Primitivo Rodrigues, a reputed gang leader, and attempting to kill Floyd Smith Jr. on Sept. 5, 1989, according to the Tacoma News Tribune.

Cordero shot Rodrigues twice in a Tacoma apartment at point-blank range, the News Tribune reported. About 15 minutes later, he shot Smith six times behind a building. At Cordero’s trial, Smith identified Cordero as the man who shot him. Cordero denied at his sentencing that he was the shooter, but the judge responded that the evidence was strong that he killed Rodrigues to establish his “prominence” in the drug trade.

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