Jury finds Tazmin Paul not guilty of 2021 murder

In 2021 drive-by shooting that killed Seattle Salazar
Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 5:45 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Lubbock man is free tonight after spending nearly three years in jail accused of murder.

After three hours of deliberation on Friday, a Lubbock jury found Tazmin Paul not guilty in connection with a deadly drive-by shooting in 2021.

Paul was accused of shooting and killing 39-year-old Seattle Salazar. Police found Salazar’s body at the intersection of 16th and Avenue U on Aug. 9, 2021.

Investigators claimed Paul shot Salazar from the passenger side of the car and the suspected driver Jesus Tijerina sped off. During the four days of testimony this week, witnesses claimed they saw a white SUV pass their house on 16th Street and heard gunshots, but could not see who was in the car.

The state showed evidence of text messages between Paul and Tijerina about the murder weapon, as well as a social media video of Paul singing a rap song about killing.

Paul’s defense claimed there was not enough evidence to even place him in the car at the time of the murder, and that there was too much DNA from other people on the gun used to connect him to the crime.

“We are very thankful for the jury and their deliberation, for their thoughtful deliberation, for considering all of the evidence in this case and taking the time in the case and ultimately to find Mr. Paul not guilty,” Criminal Defense attorney, Michael King said.

As for the other suspect, police reports show Tijerina was the driver in the attack that killed Salazar. He testified he kicked Paul out of the car after the attack, then went on the run.

Jesus Tijerina remains in the Lubbock County Detention Center as he awaits trial for murder. He is booked on a $150,000 bond.