Violent night in the Yakima ValleyPosted: Updated:
YAKIMA--The fatal shooting in the parking lot of Wray's Thriftway was just one of four violent crimes in the Yakima Valley Saturday night.
A 28-year-old Wapato man is on life support after being shot in the head, and two teenage girls were also shooting victims. One of them is six months pregnant.
The gunfire all across the valley has police departments stretched thin and residents worried.
One night. Four crime scenes and so far, no arrests.
Gunfire was heard from Toppenish to Wapato to Yakima.
Police had their hands full nearly all night.
"Our resources get spread pretty thin, Sgt. Tim Bardwell, Yakima Police Department, said. "We rely on other units, the detective unit, our proactive unit, our gang unit to supplement and fill in."
At about 9:00 p.m. Saturday, Wapato police were called to the 4500 block of North Track Road regarding a drive by shooting.
A release from the Yakima County Sheriff's Office said 28-year-old Manuel Angel Garcia of Wapato was inside a house on the block when a bullet came through the front of the building and hit him in the head.
Garcia was taken to a local hospital, where he is in stable but critical condition as of 6:20 p.m. Sunday. Due to the severity of his injuries, the Wapato Police Department turned the case over to the Sheriff's Office.
Deputies say Garcia did not live at the targeted house.
After a night like this, valley police departments must rely on each other.
"We're going to look at those [different shootings] and say, 'Are those similar in description to what occurred in our jurisdiction?'" Bardwell said.
So far, police haven't found any clear connections.
Neighbors told KNDO they're fed up with the violence.
"Nothing really gets done on the street," Kris Clemmons of Yakima said. "[Police] put a lot more cruisers around and they patrol more, but.."
Clemmons lives a block away from the other shooting Yakima police dealt with overnight.
Two Yakima teenagers were injured early Sunday morning while at a home on the 900 block of South 4th Avenue. The girls, ages 18 and 15, told police they were inside a house when they heard gunshots and were struck. The 18-year-old was hit once in the leg, and the 15-year-old was shot once in the buttocks. Officers say the 15-year-old girl is six months pregnant.
Police did not indicate any suspects, but do believe the shooting is gang-related.
Others KNDO spoke with believe stopping this violence starts with the community offering help.
"Wherever you go there's going to be some shootings. As a citizen, you got to help the community, that's what you got to do."
The final shooting--but first chronologically--happened in Toppenish. An adult male was shot in the torso in a drive by shooting one on East Toppenish Avenue.
The victim told police he was sitting in his car at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday when another car pulled up and a man inside fired several rounds at him.
Toppenish police say the suspect is a Hispanic male wearing dark clothes and believe he is anywhere from 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall. The victim's injuries are not expected to be life-threatening.
Two Yakima teenagers were injured early Sunday morning while at a home on the 900 block of South 4th Avenue. The girls, ages 18 and 15, told police they were inside a house when they heard gunshots and were struck. The 18-year-old was hit once in the leg, and the 15-year-old was shot once in the buttocks. Police say the 15-year-old girl was pregnant. Police did not indicate any suspects, but do believe the shooting is gang-related.
As of 6:20 p.m. Sunday, no arrests had been reported in any of these cases. It is not clear if any of the shootings are connected.
If you have any information, please call Yakima Police at 509-575-6200, Toppenish Police at 509-865-4355, or the Yakima County Sheriff's Office at 509-574-2500.