Two arrested in connection with Midtown homicide - Tucson News Now

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Two arrested in connection with Midtown homicide

Eugene Orlando Payne Jr. (Source: Tucson Police Department) Eugene Orlando Payne Jr. (Source: Tucson Police Department)
George Anthony Contrera. (Source: Tucson Police Department) George Anthony Contrera. (Source: Tucson Police Department)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson police have made two arrests in connection to a homicide that occurred in midtown on Sunday, Aug. 21. 

Eric Noriega, 39, was found shot in the 4700 block of East Linden Street around 6:30 p.m.

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Noriega, who died at a local hospital, was visiting a home in the area when two Hispanic men showed up around 6:15 p.m.

A spokeswoman for the Tucson Police Department said Noriega was shot after getting into an argument with the men over property.

The two men fled. 

Detectives investigated and learned the men left the scene in a white Dodge Ram truck, according to an updated media release.

They were also able to identify the shooting suspect as 26-year-old Eugene Orlando Payne Jr. and obtained a felony arrest warrant for first-degree murder and first-degree burglary.

On Wednesday night, the U.S. Marshal's Wanted Task Force located the truck, and with the assistance of TPD, initiated a traffic stop in the area of South Midvale Park Road. 

But the driver did not pull over. 

After a short pursuit, the driver stopped the truck in the 5800 block of South Mahan Drive, and two people got out and ran. 

The driver, 49-year-old George Anthony Contrera, was immediately arrested.

More TPD officers arrived on scene, along with a K-9 unit, air unit and SWAT team to search for the passenger. 

He was found trying to climb a wall nearby, arrested, and identified as Payne Jr. 

He was taken to a hospital with non life-threatening injuries. He was released and booked later in the day. 

Contrera was identified as the other man who was present during the shooting. He is facing charges of hindering prosecution, felony flight and marijuana possession.

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved. 

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