Officer shoots suspect holding a gun, more details released - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Officer shoots suspect holding a gun, more details released

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YAKIMA, Wash.- The man shot by a Yakima Police officer this weekend is identified and faces charges of rendering criminal assistance. 

Police were camped out at south 8th street on Saturday hoping to find a gun used in a shooting earlier that day. They questioned people at the house but they said they had no weapons. Officers stayed and shortly afterwards, 25-year-old Celestino Vargas Lemus returned to the home and picked up a hidden gun. Sergeant Erik Hildebrand approached him and demanded he drop his weapon. Lemus refused and took cover. That is when Sgt. Hildebrand shot him in the hip and leg.

"There seems to be a misunderstanding that someone has to shoot a gun at us or shoot first for us at us for us to respond and that's not true, that's not the case," said Lt. Mike Merryman from the Yakima Police Department.

Lemus is associated with gangs and is a suspect from a shooting on 7th street. The Yakima officer who shot him is on leave until this investigation is complete.

Lemus is expected to be released from the hospital Monday night and immediately booked into the Yakima County Jail. 

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