A magazine release party promoting local artists ended tragically Saturday night outside the Seasons Performance Hall in Yakima.
YAKIMA, WA - A magazine release party promoting local artists ended tragically Saturday night outside the Seasons Performance Hall in Yakima.
22-year-old Damarius Morgan shot dead and 19-year-old Isaiah Prince injured with a gunshot wound to the leg after a brawl in the streets got out of control.
"We've been here for seven years doing live music for seven years, and this is the first event that we've ever had where someone was injured," said Ellie Strosahl, the Executive Director of Seasons Performance Hall. "And in this case it was tragic that we lost a young life."
According to court documents, witnesses said they saw Morgan punch someone in the face.
Then they saw 18-year-old William Escobar Martinez pull out a handgun and fire several shots. Police found Martinez hiding about a block away in some bushes.
"Generally when these guys commit these types of crimes, they're not sticking around wanting to talk to us about it," said Captain Rod Light with the Yakima Police Department. "They want to get out of the area and they want out fast. In this particular case officers were very close."
Police said they found the murder weapon tossed near the crime scene, and they'll process the handgun for evidence. Police also said the suspect is known to have gang ties, but there's no information as to whether the victims had any gang affiliations.
The Executive Director of Seasons Performance Hall said for every event, including private events like Saturday's music concert, the staff at Seasons Performance Hall make sure there's adequate security.
"We hire security guards, and in this particular case we had security guards that were wanding people when they were coming in the facility," said Strosahl. "So that there were no weapons inside the facility."
Strosahl said Seasons Performance Hall will continue to provide a forum for local artists while always making safety a priority.
Martinez faces first degree murder charges and his bail is set at $1 million. Court documents show Martinez is a convicted felon with prior convictions for burglary and theft.