Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rival gang-clash results in gunfire

Corey Russell

August 20, 2008

Sunnyside police officers yesterday afternoon raced to the 1200 block of South 13th Street when gunshots were fired at a group of people.

A black BMW with four males described as Hispanic drove up to a residence on 13th Street at approximately 3:30 p.m. yesterday, Tuesday, where a group of rival gang members were standing.

Words were exchanged and shots fired.

Evidence collected at the scene indicates a semi-automatic pistol was used. Two homes were hit in the shooting with one being occupied by a mother and her two children. No one was hit by the gunfire.

Sunnyside police are looking for a four-door, black BMW with a license plate that contains the lettering of QHI. This case is under investigation and any information regarding this vehicle or this incident should be directed to Sunnyside Police Detective Jim Ortiz at 836-6200.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Toppenish- Surenos shoot up Norteno house

Toppenish -- Sade Malloy, Action News says, "To put into perspective how many shootings have happened here on the 600 block of East First Avenue, I was here on Thursday doing a story about the brown house because it had been shot at three times in five days in drive-by shootings. Toppenish Police say that's because Norteno gang members are moving into a Sureno gang area and now the shootings are continuing."

Toppenish Police say that shots were fired Saturday night at 9:20 in the evening on the 600 block of East First Avenue. No one was injured, but police say the incident was gang related.

Then, just 40 minutes later police were called to the Toppenish Community Hospital to investigate the victim of a gunshot wound. A 19 year old man had been struck in the hip.

Then right before midnight here on 'H' Street shots were fired again.

Victims tell police they were standing in their yard when a Dodge truck drove by and the occupants fired 10-13 shots.

While investigating Saturday night's shootings, Toppenish Police arrested one person right in front of us.

Sgt. Jake Church tells Action News that they've arrested almost a dozen people involved in gangs.

A concerned citizen, Santiago Ramos told us , "It's gone too far now, this town is getting worse and worse."

Police are unsure if all of Saturday night's shootings are connected.

The one thing they did confirm was that the first shooting is related to the East First Avenue drive-bys that happened earlier in the week.

Resident Jessica Beasley commented "What if someone comes down the road next thing you know I get shot."

Jessica is expressing what several Toppenish homeowners were too scared to tell us on camera: enough is enough.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Toppenish gang crimes connected

By Maria Medina
TOPPENISH -- A spike in gang crime in Toppenish in the last week is mostly happening at one home, according to investigators.

Police said three out of four incidents in the last few days are all connected, and happened on the 600 block of East 1st Ave.

On Saturday, police responded to a drive-by. Investigators said someone had shot through the living room. Then Tuesday, four more shots were fired at the home and someone had also tossed a firebomb.

Investigators said young kids live at the home.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sunnyside- two arrested in Eastway shooting

Jorge Saenz...identified by police as shooting suspect

January 18, 2008

Sunnyside police have made two arrests in connection with the Jan. 10 shooting at Eastway shopping center that sent a 14-year-old Sunnyside boy to the hospital.

Officers who responded to the shooting found the victim shot in the torso with a .40 caliber pistol. The victim and another male had been walking across the parking lot when a man got out of a brown Dodge Dakota pickup and fired at the victim. The suspect then got back in the vehicle and left the area.

The victim was transported to Sunnyside Community Hospital, where he was treated and released a few days later. Police located .40 caliber casings and bullets at the scene.

Upon further investigation, Sunnyside police believe they have identified 22-year-old Jorge Saenz, of Sunnyside, as the shooter, and 19-year-old David Guillen, also of Sunnyside, as the driver of the truck.

Police have located the truck and have recovered a semi-automatic .40 caliber weapon, which police believe was used in the crime. The pistol will be sent to the Washington State Patrol crime lab to compare with the evidence recovered at the scene.

Saenz, who was questioned by police last weekend, was arrested this past Monday on charges of knowingly giving false information to the police. He is expected to be transferred to Yakima County Jail today (Friday).

Sunnyside police are requesting charges of first degree assault, a class A felony with a maximum punishment of life in prison and/or a $50,000 fine; unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree, a class B felony with a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine; and possession of a stolen firearm, which is also a class B felony.

Guillen was arrested this past Tuesday and was transported to Yakima County Jail yesterday (Thursday). Police are requesting he be charged with accomplice to assault in the first degree, a class A felony.

Police say this was a gang related incident. The suspected shooter, Saenz, and the victim are members of opposing gangs. No other arrests are expected.