Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunnyside- victims in fatal shooting named

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. — Authorities on Monday identified two of the victims of a weekend shooting in a Sunnyside restaurant that left one person dead and two wounded.

Ramon Magna Mendoza, a 25-year-old Sunnyside area resident, died of multiple gunshot wounds to the torso in the Friday night shooting, based on an autopsy Monday afternoon, said Jack Hawkins, Yakima County coroner.

Meanwhile, Maria Reyes, 42, of Sunnyside, is in critical condition in Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Hawkins said.

A third victim, a man, was treated and released at a local hospital. His identity has not been released pending notification of family members and because of the nature of the investigation, said Charlotte Hinderlider, a Sunnyside police spokeswoman.

The shooting occurred about 10:45 p.m. Friday at Ricos Tacos Guadalajara on Yakima Valley Highway.

Hawkins said he used fingerprints and conversations with relatives in Mexico and California to identify Mendoza, who was found with no identification. Family members are on their way to Yakima, Hawkins said.

Reyes may be a relative of Mendoza’s girlfriend, Hawkins said.

Meanwhile, Sunnyside police detectives have multiple suspects in the investigation, according to a news release Monday by Hinderlider.

On Saturday, detectives found one suspect vehicle, a white Chevrolet Malibu, while it was burning north of Sunnyside, the release said.

The Washington State Patrol Crime Lab Response Team and Washington State Patrol detectives have been asked to assist in the investigation.

Restaurant owner Francisco Hernandez said he doesn’t know what will happen next with his business.

He spent Monday moving furniture and equipment from the bright red-colored restaurant into a rented trailer.

“I’m really not sure right now,” Hernandez said. “We’ve never had any problems here before, nothing like this that happened.”

• Reporter Melissa Sánchez contributed to this report.

• Ross Courtney can be reached at 509-930-8798 or rcourtney@yakimaherald.com.


Yakima City Council targets gangs

YAKIMA, Wash. — Gang houses and other problem properties could face stiff fines and extra scrutiny from police under a proposal being considered by the Yakima City Council.

The council held a study session Tuesday morning to consider how to deal with chronic nuisance properties. Members agreed to hold a public hearing soon to gather comments.

City Attorney Jeff Cutter presented the council with a draft ordinance modeled after one recently approved in Seattle.

Although much of the discussion focused on the proposed law’s application to gangs, Cutter said the standards could be applied to other locations “that are magnets for criminal activity or at least involve a lot of response from the police department.”

Nuisance properties would be defined as locations that yield three or more serious police calls within a two-month period or at least seven within a year.

Nuisance activity would be defined as violent crimes, drive-by shootings, prostitution and drug activity, among other examples.

The proposal would cover some of the same ground as legislation put forward this year by state Rep. Norm Johnson, R-Yakima. That measure failed to make it through the Senate over concerns about possible racial profiling and questions about whether parents would be unfairly forced out of their homes because of their children’s activity.

As originally introduced, House Bill 2414 would have classified criminal gang activity as a nuisance and provided a process for neighbors, a public agency or anyone within a one-block radius of a known gang hangout to file legal action to stop the activity.

The American Civil Liberties Union has also expressed concern about whether the Seattle ordinance is too broad, according to a memo from Cutter to the council.

City officials said the proposed ordinance would focus on calls or activity committed at a particular address, rather than criminal activity by residents there.

Police have already identified more than a dozen properties that may qualify for extra enforcement because of gang problems.

But deputy chief Kelly Rosenow and other city staff emphasized that the ordinance would have to be carefully managed and would require significant staff time.

“It’s going to take a lot of work on our part, but we also know we have to do something to take back our neighborhoods,” Rosenow told the council.

Direct expenses would be limited to mostly title searches, about $350 apiece, to verify ownership of a targeted property and mailing of notices.

Property owners would have 30 days to begin fixing issues identified by police — cleaning up the site or evicting tenants, for example — or they could be fined $500 a day. If the case made it to court, they could face a fine up to $25,000.

If the targeted location is a business, the ordinance allows the city to withdraw a business license or decline to renew it.

The council voted 7-0 to move the matter to a public hearing, with a vote on whether to approve the ordinance expected to follow. The date for the hearing has not been set.

Councilwoman Maureen Adkison said Yakima’s work on a nuisance ordinance may help push the Legislature to approve a similar statewide law.

“I think this shows that the city of Yakima is not going to roll over, that we are willing to do something on our own,” she said.

• Mark Morey can be reached at 509-577-7671 or mmorey@yakimaherald.com.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Kennewick police seek shooting suspect

Kennewick police are searching for suspects after a man was injured in a shooting Sunday.

The victim, who's name or age were not immediately released, was shot in the chest, said Cpl. Joe Jackson. He was being treated as of 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

The shooting apparently occurred at Fourth Avenue and Vancouver Street just before 6:30 p.m., Jackson said.

Kennewick police learned of the shooting after the victim arrived at Kennewick General Hospital. He reportedly was driven there by friends.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunnyside- I dead in triple shooting

Last Friday at approximately 10:45 p.m. Sunnyside police rushed to the scene of a reported shooting at 809 Yakima Valley Highway, also known as the site of Rico's Tacos.

Officers arrived at the site to find three victims had been struck by gunfire, one of them, a male, was deceased on arrival.

A female victim was found shot multiple times and was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Another adult male was treated for gunshot wounds at Sunnyside Community Hospital and released.

An autopsy of the deceased victim is scheduled for today (Monday) and additional victim information has not yet been released by authorities.

The Sunnyside Police Department is being assisted by the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab Response Team and detectives from the Washington State Patrol in investigating the incident.

It is believed multiple suspects were involved, but information regarding the suspects is being held from the public.

A suspect vehicle described as a white Chevrolet Malibu, said Sunnyside police, was recovered north of Sunnyside Saturday. It is believed it was in the process of being destroyed as it was found burning.

Anyone with information involving this case is asked to call the Sunnyside Police Department at 509-836-6200.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

2 Sunnyside shootings

On March 23, a shooting occurred on McClain Dr in Sunnyside.

On March 21, an assault with a firearm occurred on the 1000 block of Tacoma Ave in Sunnyside.

Wapato- 2 arrested after shooting at car

WAPATO, Wash. -- A man and a woman were arrested Monday evening in connection with a report that shots were fired at a vehicle in the Wapato area, authorities said.

Wapato police and Yakima County sheriff's deputies were sent about 7:20 p.m. to the area of U.S. Highway 97 and Jones Road because someone in one vehicle was shooting at another, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

The suspect vehicle, a Volkswagen Jetta, was found on Sixth Street in Yakima.

The occupants claimed they opened fire because they were being threatened.

The other vehicle was not located. No injuries were reported.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of reckless endangerment; the man was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yakima- dumb surenos shoot farm worker for wearing red

YAKIMA, WASH. -- A 20-year-old Yakima man faces specialized surgery to remove the bullet lodged in his neck from a Sunday evening shooting that apparently was prompted by his red clothing, police said Monday.

Initial reports suggested that the man, who described himself as a farm worker, was not a gang member. Detectives said they had not developed any information to contradict his report, but the investigation was going slowly due to a lack of information about possible suspects.

The man told police that a blue van pulled alongside his vehicle at a stop sign at Seventh and Adams streets. The van's passenger fired one roundjavascript:void(0), which hit him in the left shoulder.

The man drove himself to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

Police said the man was expected to recover, but has been transferred to an unspecified medical facility for specialized surgery. Because of the bullet's sensitive location, doctors wanted to make sure they did not do more damage taking it out, Yakima police Sgt. Tony Bennett said.

The incident was the latest of several shootings involving apparently innocent victims since last summer, when gang-related shootings spiked in the Yakima Valley.

Last July, a stray shot from a gang fight struck the leg of a 23-year-old woman visiting from Lansing, Mich.

That shooting came just six days after a 13-year-old girl who lived two blocks down the same street in north-central Yakima was seriously injured when shots were fired into her Roosevelt Avenue home. Police said her family had no known gang connections.

Neither of those incidents were fatal, but in 2005 a shooting reportedly inspired by a red sweatshirt claimed the life of 21-year-old Octavio Abundiz Jr. in Yakima.

Friends said he was not a gang member. He worked as a cook and dreamed of a career in law enforcement, they said.

Bennett said residents should not be overly concerned about wearing red or blue clothing, noting that he often wears such shirts. But he said the incident highlights the need for parents to stay aware of what their children are wearing and who they are associating with.

Gang clothing generally involves multiple elements beyond the shirt, including certain types of pants, belts, shoes and shoelaces.

* Mark Morey can be reached at 509-577-7671 or mmorey@yakimaherald.com.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sunnyside area- six weekend shootings

Six weapons offenses reported to deputies

Since last Friday, the Yakima County Sheriff's Office has been alerted to six weapons incidents.

Just after 3 p.m. Friday a resident in the 900 block of Rouse Road near Sunnyside reported hearing a gunshot. An area check was requested.

A resident in the 1000 block of Alexander Road Ext. near Grandview just before 4 p.m. last Friday told deputies his neighbor was shooting a gun at his property.

Gunfire was reported on SLI Road near Sunnyside at approximately 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The subjects were witnessed driving back and forth on the roadway, shooting from the vehicle.

Just after 4 p.m. that day a resident in the 1700 block of Bus Road near Mabton reported his cat was shot on his property.

Shots were fired at and struck a vehicle in the 200 block of Third Avenue in Mabton just after 2 p.m. yesterday (Sunday). The property owner phoned deputies from work after her husband told her about the incident.

A drive-by was reported at approximately 1 p.m. in the 600 block of Monroe Street in Mabton yesterday. The homeowner did not see the vehicle as it drove by, but one bullet went through a window to the home. Deputies were unable to discover further information that might lead to suspects in the incident.

Also since last Friday Lower Valley residents have called deputies to report two burglaries, two domestic violence situations and four suspicious situations.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Sunnyside shootings

On March 19 on the 900 block of Rouse Rd in Sunnside shots were reported at 3pm to the YSO.

On March 14 shots were reported on the 400 block of Skyline Dr in Sunnyside.

On March 11 shots were reported on the 1700 block of Cascade Way, again.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sunnyside- 16 y.o. shot in drive-by

SUNNYSIDE -- A 16-year-old boy was shot in the back Wednesday evening during a drive-by shooting outside his home in the 1600 block of Braden Road, authorities said

The wound was not life-threatening, and the boy was expected to be released Wednesday night from Sunnyside Community Hospital, said Sgt. John Durand of the Yakima County Sheriff's Office.

The victim, an admitted gang member, stepped outside his house about 6 p.m. and was shot by someone who exited a white Nissan, Durand said.

The Nissan and a silver Volkswagen, possibly a Jetta, then left the area.

Anyone with information about the incident may call the sheriff's office at 509-574-2500.


Two Mattawa men arrested for Ephrata homicide

EPHRATA, Wash. -- Two suspects face murder charges in connection with the March 7 shooting of a 17-year-old boy in southern Grant County.

Mattawa police arrested the pair Wednesday during a traffic stop in Mattawa, the Grant County Sheriff's Office reported. They were expected to make their first court appearance today.

Luis A. Mejia Nunez, 20, of Mattawa and a 15-year old Mattawa boy are charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.

They are accused of being among several occupants in a car from which the shots were fired.

The fatally shot victim, 17-year-old Carlos Leyva, and two companions were walking on a county road between Beverly and Schawana when the suspect vehicle passed by, sheriff's officials said. The occupants made hand signals toward Leyva's group before turning the car around and opening fire.

One of the boys was wounded; the other was able to run away, authorities said.

-- Mark Morey

Yakima- three arrested in task force raid

YAKIMA — Three people were arrested on drug-related charges Thursday when drug agents raided a home in the 5300 block of West Washington Avenue, authorities said.

Neighbors had complained that the house attracted heavy vehicle traffic — a common sign of drug activity — which had increased over the past year, according to Law Enforcement Against Drugs, the Yakima Valley drug task force that investigated the case.

A task force supervisor said customers came to the home primarily to buy cocaine, although marijuana and prescription drugs were also found when officers served a search warrant Thursday afternoon.

Two men and a woman were taken into custody. They are expected to face a variety of drug charges, including maintaining a drug house, the task force supervisor said.

More arrests may be made as the investigation continues, he said.

— Mark Morey


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Toppenish drive by shooting

In Toppenish on March 16 on the 800 block of E Toppenish Ave a drive by shooting occurred. No one is believed to be injured.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunnyside- man shot in weekend shooting

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. -- A 22-year-old Sunnyside man suffered a gunshot wound late Saturday during an exchange of gunfire in a residential area, police said Monday morning.

The victim is identified as Gilberto Garcia Ramos, who suffered a gunshot wound to the upper torso.

He was taken to Sunnyside Community Hospital for treatment and was discharged Monday afternoon.

The other participant in the shooting has not been identified.

Police ultimately executed a search warrant at a North Fourth Street residence near where the shooting occurred, confiscating 74 ounces of marijuana, scales and a loaded shotgun.

City officials also condemned the house for a variety of code violations.

Police spokeswoman Charlotte Hinderlider said police are still investigating and aren't sure whether the shooting was gang-related.

Two people were detained. One, a 31-year-old Sunnyside man, for unrelated warrants. The second man, a 27-year-old Sunnyside resident, is being held for investigation of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of marijuana.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Sunnyside Police Department at 509-837-6200.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yakima- third man arrested in fatal shooting

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Two men were arrested Wednesday as police continued their investigation into a fatal weekend shooting in Yakima.

One of those arrested, a 22-year-old man, is suspected of being the driver of the car that opened fire on a second vehicle last Saturday. During a preliminary court appearance Thursday, his bail was set at $2 million.

Police said they stopped him while he was driving near Sixth Street and Nob Hill Boulevard and later recovered a white Cadillac linked to the shooting. It was found under a cover in the backyard of a home in the 1200 block of West Washington Avenue, police said.

Police also arrested a 34-year-old man after searching his Tampico home, where they say they recovered a gun used in Saturday's killing. He was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, as well as possessing drugs, including about two pounds of marijuana.
His bail was set at $25,000.

Police earlier arrested 24-year-old Tomas Villegas, who they suspect was the gunman. He was arrested Tuesday afternoon and is being held on $2 million bail.

The arrests stem from the death of 40-year-old David R. Duarte of Selah. Duarte was riding with his nephew when he was shot multiple times near 16th and Washington avenues.

Duarte was apparently not involved with a gang. His nephew, who police call a gang member, was the intended target.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Yakima- homcide suspect surrenders after standoff

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Three days after a man was fatally shot while riding in his nephew's car in Yakima, authorities arrested the person they believe pulled the trigger.

The 24-year-old Yakima man surrendered Tuesday afternoon at a duplex in the 600 block of West Logan Avenue after a 30-minute standoff, Yakima police Lt. Mike Merryman said.

He is the primary suspect in Saturday's fatal shooting of David R. Duarte, 40, of Yakima. Police have not released the suspect's name, but Yakima County jail records show Tomas
Villegas was booked Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge.

"It went off without a hitch," said Merryman, as SWAT officers cleared the scene Tuesday afternoon. "We were sitting on this for a while. We wanted to wait until school got out and there weren't any kids in the street."

The duplex sits across South Sixth Avenue from Hoover Elementary School.

Duarte was riding in his 16-year-old nephew's car shortly before midnight Saturday near 16th and Washington avenues when a large white vehicle pulled up alongside them, authorities said. Somebody inside fired several shots, hitting Duarte in the head and chest.

The nephew, who has not been identified, pulled into a nearby parking lot and called police. Duarte was dead by the time officers arrived.

He was the sixth homicide victim in Yakima County this year and the fourth in the city of Yakima. Arrests have been made in all four Yakima homicides.

After Tuesday's arrest -- and as officers served a search warrant on the second duplex unit -- several dozen neighbors gathered in small groups around the yellow caution tape to talk about the Yakima Valley's gang problem.

Authorities have said Duarte was probably not involved in gangs, but his nephew is.

"I don't know what they're going to do about all this garbage," said Deryl Woody, who has lived for 40 years in a house around the block from the scene of Tuesday's arrest.

“Maybe (the city) ought to stop worrying about the public art and brick sidewalks and start taking care of this (s---) that’s going on. There’s priorities, and there’s priorities.”

• Melissa Sánchez can be reached at 509-577-7675 or msanchez@yakimaherald.com.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Mattawa- 1 killed, 1 injured in drive-by

MATTAWA, Wash. — Authorities are investigating a drive-by shooting Sunday evening just north of here that left one teenager dead and another wounded.

Details are still sketchy and witnesses have been uncooperative, Grant County Undersheriff John Turley wrote in a news release issued today. It is unknown whether the shooting was gang-related, random or a retaliatory incident.

What authorities do know is this: Sometime about 6:20 p.m., somebody fired shots in the 17000 block of Road T.5 SW in Beverly, about five miles north of Mattawa.

One bullet killed 17-year-old Carlos D. Leyva of Beverly. A second 17-year-old male was shot in the ankle and taken to Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake. He has been treated and released. A third teenager escaped uninjured.

— Melissa Sánchez


Suspect identified in deputy shooting

YAKIMA, Wash. — Authorities today identified a suspect in Saturday’s drive-by shooting at a Yakima County Sheriff’s deputy.

An arrest warrant for Pedro Godinez-Jiminez, 21, of Toppenish, was issued today by a Yakima County Superior Court judge. The warrant is sealed.

He is Hispanic, about 5 feet, 6 inches and 170 pounds.

Authorities say a Yakima County Sheriff’s deputy was fired upon more than a dozen times by people in a suspicious car outside Toppenish early Saturday morning.

The deputy, whose name has not been released, was not hurt.

It happened about 12:15 a.m. Saturday in the area of the Willowtree Trailer Park, authorities said.

When the deputy attempted to stop a suspicious 2001 Chevy Malibu that was prowling the neighborhood, two of its occupants leaned out of car and shot at him, authorities said.

The deputy avoided being struck and was unable to get a shot off.

About 45 minutes later, the car was found in flames outside Harrah.

Anyone with information on Godines-Jiminez’ location should call the sheriff’s office at 509-574-2500.

- Melissa Sánchez


Wanted Grandview man caught after chase

GRANDVIEW, Wash. — Police arrested a 24-year-old Grandview man with five outstanding warrants after he allegedly led them on a vehicle and foot chase in and around town this weekend.

It was unclear how the pursuit first started, assistant police chief Mark Ware said, but Benton County Sheriff’s deputies chased the man into Grandview, where he reached speeds up to 90 mph. He lost control and crashed his vehicle into a telephone pole at the corner of Elm and Second streets, police said.

Officers chased him a block or two on foot, then lost him for a little while, but with the help of a K9 unit found him hiding in a backyard in the 600 block of East Second Street, Ware said.

Officers later determined the man had five arrest warrants, including one issued by the U.S. Marshal’s office, police said.

In addition to the warrants, Grandview police had been looking for him just a few minutes before the chase for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, then stealing her cellular phone and car, the one that was crashed during the pursuit, Ware said.

Police also found several grams of marijuana inside the vehicle, police said.

The man was taken to the Yakima County Jail today, where he could face charges of robbery, theft, felony assault, attempting to elude a police vehicle and a variety of misdemeanors, including driving under the influence and hit and run, police said.

-- Ross Courtney


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Yakima - another homicide

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Another man was shot dead Saturday night, becoming Yakima County's third homicide victim in eight days.

David R. Duarte, 40, was shot in the head and chest about 11:55 p.m. while riding in a car near 16th and Washington avenues, Yakima police said.

No arrests have been made.

The Yakima man was a passenger in a car driven by his 16-year-old nephew on South 16th Avenue near Spokane Street when a large, white vehicle pulled up next to them, Capt. Greg Copeland wrote in a news release. Someone inside fired several shots, hitting Duarte twice.

The nephew, who was not identified, drove a short distance to South 15th and West Mead avenues, pulled into a parking lot and called police. When officers arrived, Duarte was dead.

Police don't believe Duarte was involved in gang activity but said his nephew is a gang member. Authorities said the shooter is most likely is a gang member.

Last weekend, two other men were fatally shot in separate, apparently unrelated incidents.

James Kilby, 29, of Yakima, was shot Feb. 27 while sitting in a car outside a Yakima supermarket. He later died at an area hospital and police have arrested two Seattle-area men on first-degree murder charges.

Also that night, Manuel Angel Garcia, 28, of Wapato was shot in the head from a drive-by bullet while sitting inside a friend's Wapato home. He died three days later at an area hospital. No arrests have been made.

An autopsy on Duarte will be conducted today, said Marshall Slight, Yakima County's deputy coroner.

Six homicides have been recorded in Yakima County this year, including four in the city of Yakima.

Toppenish: Shots fired at Yakima Sheriff's deputy

Authorities are on high alert after a deputy was fired upon more than a dozen times by people in a suspicious car outside Toppenish early Saturday.

“We’ll see if we can round these guys up,” said Yakima County Sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Udell.

It happened about 12:15 a.m. in the 200 block of Willowtree Lane, where the deputy attempted to stop a suspicious car, a 2001 Chevy Malibu, prowling the neighborhood.

But the slow-moving car wouldn’t stop. Instead, two occupants extended their upper bodies outside opposite sides of the car and fired multiple shots at the deputy, who was not injured.

The deputy, whose name is not being released at this time, quickly turned his patrol car, which also avoided being struck, to one side of the narrow, bumpy road and high-centered in a nearby field. Meanwhile, the car fled West on McDonald Road with the occupants still firing shots. The deputy was unable to get a shot off, Udell said.

About 45 minutes later, the suspect car was found in flames on Harrah Road, South of Fort Road, Udell said.

“(The suspects) knew they put themselves in a spot and burned it,” he said. “We’re looking into ownership of the car and who was driving it. I can tell you we are working some leads, but haven’t made an arrest yet.”

It was the third time in nine months that a deputy has been fired upon in Yakima County.

Last July, a deputy was shot in the leg in Outlook by gang members who targeted him and a fellow deputy.

And in December, a deputy was fired upon by two men suspected of attempting to steal a snow blower and fleeing west on Tieton Drive in a pickup.

One of the men in the pickup began firing at the deputy, who was not injured.

It’s a trend that has authorities concerned.

“It’s getting kind of wild,” Udell said. “You know, when they start shooting at the cops like this, it’s getting to be anything goes with them.”

Anyone with information on the case may call the sheriff’s office at 509-574-2500.

• Phil Ferolito can be reached at 509-577-7749 or pferolito@yakimaherald.com.


Yakima- man confuses soccer players with gang members, opens fire

YAKIMA, Wash. — A man opened fire on a group of youngsters playing soccer Thursday night after asking if they were gang members, city police say.

The 13 children took off running, and a police report did not indicate any of them were hurt.

The 41-year-old suspect — who witnesses described as holding a beer and wearing a white beanie, with three dogs trailing behind him — was arrested nearby, according to the report.

He was booked into the Yakima County jail on suspicion of 13 counts of first-degree assault and was expected to make his first court appearance this afternoon.

Several officers responded about 9:30 p.m. to an area around the 400 block of East Spruce after several callers reported the shooting.

The victims told police they were playing soccer at the Union Gospel Youth Center when the man approached and asked whether they were gang members.

The youngsters said they were not, but the man pulled a gun, pointed it at them and fired six shots, the police report stated.

Officers found the man walking southbound on South Third Street at East Maple. The three dogs were still with him.

Five .38-caliber bullets were found on the suspect, but the gun was not recovered, police said.

— Mark Morey


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Yakima- murder charges filed against two suspects

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The two men accused in Saturday night's fatal shooting outside a Yakima supermarket were formally charged with murder Thursday in Yakima County Superior Court.

Jordan Dior Daisy, 21, of Seattle, and Ezra William Swann, 23, of Tukwila, Wash., were charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and first-degree assault.

They are accused in the death of James Kilby, 27, of Union Gap, who was shot in the chest while sitting in a parked car outside Wray's supermarket at Third Avenue and Nob Hill Boulevard.

Authorities said a friend who had called Kilby to give him a ride was apparently the intended target of the attack.

Yakima police arrested Daisy and Swann on Tuesday in Seattle after tracing a phone number to the home of Daisy's mother.

Both men are being held in the Yakima County jail on $2 million bail.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wapato shooting victim dies

YAKIMA, Wash. — A Wapato man shot in the head Saturday night succumbed to his injuries today.

Manuel Angel Garcia, 28, died about 11 a.m. at Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center, where he had been treated since the shooting at a home in the 4500 block of North Track Road, Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins said.

Garcia had not been expected to survive the gunshot wound.

He becomes the fourth reported homicide victim of the year in the county.

Garcia was visiting when someone fired multiple rounds at the home. Numerous shootings have been reported in that area, including the 2008 death of a 16-year-old boy who lived at the home Garcia was visiting.

Yakima County sheriff’s detectives, who are handling the case for Wapato police, have not reported any major developments in the case.

A Union Gap man was also fatally shot Saturday night in Yakima.

Yakima police on Tuesday announced the arrest of two Seattle men in connection with 27-year-old James Kilby’s death.

A friend who had called for Kilby to give him a ride was apparently the intended target of the attack, which may have stemmed from a dispute over an informal rap contest, police say. The friend ran into a grocery store and was not seriously hurt.

- Mark Morey


Sunnyside- 4 weekend shootings, 1 man shot

In addition to the five people shot around the valley this past weekend, four shootings occurred in the Sunnyside area.
On Thursday at approximately 7:30pm, a caller reported someone standing in the middle of the street on the 600 block of N 4th street, firing four to five shots.
At 9pm Friday, 12 shots were reported at Midvale and Green Valley.
On Saturday, an Outlook man reported being shot in the back to police, and was able to give a description of the vehicle to police.
At 10pm on Sunday, shots were reported on the 1900 block of Maple Grove.
YAKIMA, Wash. — Two suspects were arrested Monday in Seattle in connection with a weekend homicide in Yakima.

Police say the primary suspect in the shooting death of James Kilby of Union Gap is a 21-year-old Seattle man.

He and the second suspect, a 23-year-old Seattle man, were arrested after Yakima detectives went to Seattle to watch his house.

The pair arrived there about 1 p.m. Monday in the same vehicle in which they are believed to have fled the shooting scene at the Wray’s grocery store on Third Avenue.

Detectives had tracked down the suspects based on telephone information, Yakima police Lt. Mike Merryman said without elaborating.

Kilby was fatally shot Saturday night after the suspects pinned in his vehicle as his passenger fled into the store, investigators say.

The 19-year-old passenger had called Kilby, who was his roommate, to pick him up after a dispute developed between him and the homicide suspects at a house near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Nob Hill Boulevard.

The passenger was assaulted at that location, possibly in connection with a dispute over an informal rap music contest, police say.

“It’s becoming more and more apparent the driver of the car was simply there to pick up his friend — didn’t know what was going on,” Yakima police Lt. Mike Merryman said.

Previous reports have indicated that Kilby was a Kitsap County resident, but Merryman said he was most recently living in Union Gap. He had family ties across the state.

The suspects were booked into the King County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. They are expected to be returned soon to face the charges in Yakima County.

Merryman said detectives are still trying to identify and locate a third person who may have been involved in assaulting Kilby’s roommate.

Police said they waited to announce the arrests until this morning because detectives did not conclude their work in Seattle and return to Yakima until late Monday.

— Mark Morey


Yakima PD gang intervention coordinator promoted

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Yakima Police Department's gang intervention coordinator was promoted on Monday to the rank of sergeant.

Office David Cortez replaces Sgt. Scott Levno, who retired after 20 years with the force. Cortez joined the department in 1993, and spent six years on patrol, five years in investigations and three years with the gang unit.

For the past three years, he has been coordinating the department's Gang Resistance Education and Training program, and often gives speeches and holds parenting classes related to youth violence.


Yakima Valley- Violent Weekend's aftermath.

A Wapato man is not expected to survive a weekend shooting, Yakima County sheriff's detectives said Monday as they continued to investigate the case.

Meanwhile, Yakima police were trying to identify suspects in another shooting that killed a Kitsap County man on Saturday night, and Toppenish police said they were seeking a known suspect in the third of five shootings reported across the county over the weekend.

The Wapato man -- identified as 28-year-old Manuel Angel Garcia -- remained at Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center in critical condition, said Stew Graham, chief of detectives for the sheriff's office. Numerous relatives have gathered to be with him at the hospital, but his prognosis is not good, authorities said.

Graham said he had no major updates to release as detectives continued to work the case.
Garcia was visiting a home in the 4500 block of North Track Road in Wapato when he was hit by one of several rounds fired at the house. Multiple shootings have been reported at and around the home, including a 2008 incident that killed a 16-year-old boy who lived there.

Meanwhile, Yakima police said a dispute that stemmed from an informal rap contest apparently played a role in the shooting that killed 29-year-old James Kilby on Saturday night.

The contests, known as freestyle battles, involve contestants exchanging sometimes-insulting lyrics in a spontaneous test of their rapping skills.

Yakima police Lt. Mike Merryman said a passenger with Kilby had reportedly been beaten by several people affiliated with the contest after a disagreement.

The passenger reportedly told Kilby to leave a home in the area of Fifth Avenue and Nob Hill Boulevard, where the beating took place. The shooter followed the car to the Wray's Food and Drug at Third Avenue, blocked it in and then
fired into the car. The passenger, apparently the intended target, had already run into the store, where officers found him.

In Toppenish, police said they were seeking charges of attempted first-degree murder against Ricardo D. Ruiz, 20, of Toppenish. Ruiz remains at large.

The victim told officers he was driving in the 500 block of East Toppenish Avenue when the driver of a blue van got out and began shooting, authorities said. The victim was struck once in the torso as he attempted to drive off.

He drove himself to Toppenish Community Hospital for treatment, police said.

Yakima police also investigated two injury shootings Saturday and Sunday. Two teenagers received noncritical injuries in a driveby shooting, and a man shot a domestic-violence suspect in order to force him to stop attacking his ex-girlfriend.

On Monday, the man was booked into Yakima County Jail on a multiple pending charges, including attempted murder.