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Suspect arrested in Waltham teen’s slaying

Tyler Zanco from the 2013 Waltham High School yearbook.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

A photo of Tyler Zanco from the 2013 Waltham High School yearbook.

One man has been arrested in last week’s fatal shooting of a Waltham teenager, the Middlesex district attorney’s office said Thursday.

Taylor Poulin, 21, of Newton, is facing charges related to the shooting death of Tyler Zanco, 17.

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Poulin is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, unlicensed possession of a firearm, and conspiracy to violate drug laws, officials said.

He was arrested early Wednesday in Windham, Maine, by the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force and Windham and Westbrook police. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Portland District Court on fugitive from justice charges, officials said.

An arrest warrant has also been issued for a second suspect, Domingo Mendes, 22, of Belmont, who remains at large and is considered armed and dangerous, officials said. Mendes is wanted on charges of murder, possession of a firearm, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Zanco, who was shot in an apartment complex parking lot last week, was killed during an attempted drug rip-off that was set up as retaliation against one of the suspects in the shooting, according to records filed in Waltham District Court, the Globe reported Thursday.

According to those documents, Zanco and two friends from Waltham High planned on Thursday to rob Poulin, believing that Poulin had cheated Zanco’s younger cousin of 2 ounces of marijuana in a previous drug deal.

The plot went awry, and the night ended with Zanco, captain of his high school wrestling team, shot in the back, allegedly by Mendes.

In the court documents, police described how Zanco and two friends set up the drug deal to target Poulin, also known as Tru, whom Zanco “had recently had problems with.”

The encounter quickly turned violent, with Zanco using a stun gun on Poulin, according to the documents. The two men then began fighting, and Poulin cried out for Mendes to shoot Zanco, the affidavit said.

According to the account in the documents, Mendes first fired the gun in the air, leading Zanco to flee across the parking lot. Mendes then allegedly shot Zanco in the back.

Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @catalina_gaitan.
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