Yakima Police Release Important Details in Deadly Officer Involved Shooting
YAKIMA, WA - NBC Right Now is digging deeper into the events that led up to a deadly officer involved shooting at a car wash in Yakima Saturday.
Details on Saturday's incident at a Yakima car wash have been scarce until now. Yakima Police said an officer was on routine patrol at 3 a.m. along East Nob Hill Boulevard. 29-year-old Casey Gilette noticed a car sitting in the parking lot for over an hour.
"Approached on foot on the driver's side, moved around the vehicle to the passenger side of the vehicle," said Captain Rod Light with the Yakima Police Department. "Opened the door, discovered the suspect was armed with a handgun."
Police said the suspect 23-year-old Rocendo Arias had his finger on the trigger.
Officer Gilette shot four times hitting Arias once in the head and killing him. Officers said during this early investigation, they discovered the suspect's gun was non-lethal.
"It was later determined that the handgun was a replica of an actual firearm so what I would refer to as an airsoft gun, but they appear very real," said Captain Light.
Justin Ford said violence and shootings are the main reason he moved his young family out of Yakima.
"It's evident by the shootings that are happening on a weekly basis and the fact that law enforcement is having to use their firearms on a more regular basis is just more proof of that," said Ford.
Police said it's still very early in the investigation. They'll be interviewing Officer Gilette later this week.
Gilette is on administrative leave during the investigation. Police said he's been with the Yakima Police Department for 14 months, but he had experience as an officer with the Toppenish Police Department prior to this.