Fourth suspect in WSP trooper involved shooting arrested - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fourth suspect in WSP trooper involved shooting arrested

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy: Washington State Patrol Courtesy: Washington State Patrol
Courtesy: Trooper C. Thorson Courtesy: Trooper C. Thorson
Courtesy: Trooper C. Thorson Courtesy: Trooper C. Thorson

10-31-17 UPDATE:

YAKIMA, WA - We have new information about the Washington State Patrol shooting from last week.

We now know a fourth suspect has been arrested, and he made his first court appearance today.

Troopers say this fourth suspect, 42-year-old Jose Alvarez, was in the car with two other suspects when the shootout happened.

In addition to Alvarez, 20-year-old Enrique Madrigal is being charged with rendering criminal assistance. He's accused of allowing the three suspects to stay at his house the night of the shooting and helping destroy one of the suspects' clothing and drove him to his parents' house.

After reviewing video from the WSP car, troopers now say that they believe Alvarez was a third person in the back seat of the suspects' car. 

At one point, Alvarez was being charged with first degree assault, but he's now being charged with possession of a stolen firearm and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

He's being held on $150,000 bond; a hundred thousand dollars less than what the prosecution asked for.

In addition to the charges here, Alvarez is also wanted on a Federal Marshal Service warrant out of California.

There is still potential for more arrests and more charges in this case. This story will be updated as it develops.

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10-27-17 UPDATE:

YAKIMA, WA - The search for two suspects in connection with Monday night's shooting involving a Washington State Trooper is over.

Just hours ago, 39-year-old Felipe Cortes-Barajas of Grandview and 18-year-old Manuel Aviles of Mabton made their first court appearance this afternoon at the Yakima County Courthouse. 

The two men were finally arrested yesterday in Othello.

"We haven't had a shooting in eastern Washington involving the state patrol in a very long time, so it was all hands on deck," said WSP Trooper Chris Thorson. "We probably used 25 to 50 percent of the state patrols resources just in this one event and luckily it was successful in the end."

Both men face several charges, including first degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, and violation of the uniform controlled substance act.

Both bails were set at $500,000.

Both Cortes-Barajas and Aviles are scheduled to appear in court on November 9 for their arraignment.

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10-27-17 UPDATE:

GRANDVIEW, WA - From Washington State Patrol on the shooting in Grandview:

"The Washington State Patrol (WSP) has arrested two men believed to be responsible for opening fire on a Trooper on Monday October 23, 2017.

"The two men below have been booked into the Yakima County Jail for assault one and unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act:

  • Manuel J. Aviles 18-year-old Mabton resident
  • Felipe Cortes-Barajas 39-year-old Grandview resident

"The men were arrested Thursday morning October 26, 2017 in Adams County. Members of the WSP SWAT team arrested the two subjects without incident.

"On Monday October 23, 2017, at 9:08 p.m. at State Route 241 near Alexander Road a trooper attempted to stop a speeding vehicle. After a six minute pursuit, which reached speeds of more than 100 MPH, the suspect vehicle pulled into a residence along Forsell Road in Grandview and stopped. Two suspects exited their vehicle and engaged the trooper with unknown type weapons. Multiple shots from the gunmen struck the trooper's car damaging the front end and windshield of the patrol car, as well as the in-car computer. Both suspects fled on foot through a vineyard and remained at large until Thursday.

"WSP Detectives are continuing their investigation into the incident. The WSP wants to thank the public for providing information that was essential in capturing these two armed and dangerous men. Anyone with additional information is asked to call the WSP tip line at 509 249 6700.

"The WSP would like to thank the partnering law enforcement agencies who assisted in this investigation."

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UPDATE:

GRANDVIEW, WA - Any police officer will tell you there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop. And that is certainly true in this case. A WSP trooper was trying to pull over the driver of a speeding car on State Route 241 around 9:00 p.m. last night. Here was the call from WSP dispatch:

"Two people in the vehicle,  going 89 miles an hour right now. Still heading north on 241. Shots fired. Two outstanding suspects, dark colored clothing, possibly Hispanic. I think my vehicle took some pretty good damage."

What we know is that the trooper was trying to pull over the driver of a speeding car on State Route 241 when the driver took off, leading the trooper on a chase that topped 100 miles per hour at times. It ended in the 3800 block of Forsell Road in Grandview, where the two suspects in the car got out and fired at the trooper.

They hit his patrol car five times. One bullet even hit his in-car computer.

The trooper was not hurt, but the two suspects got away. Law enforcement agencies from all over southeastern Washington are now looking for them. They are described as dark-skinned and were last seen running through a vineyard.

We are also learning more about the trooper involved.

Trooper Nathaniel Dawson has been on the force for a year now, and officially graduated in April. He is from Kennewick and works in Grandview.

Luckily, Trooper Dawson was not injured in the shooting. He is now at home.

Investigators also searched the suspects' car earlier this afternoon, but they are not releasing that information at this time.

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UPDATE:

GRANDVIEW, WA - A Washington State Patrol (WSP) trooper is alive and uninjured after being fired upon by multiple gunmen during a traffic stop. The shooting took place on Monday October 23, 2017, at 9:08 p.m. at State Route 241 near Alexander Road. Detectives from the WSP Criminal Investigation Unit are following up on leads in identifying and capturing the gunmen.

Two suspects fled when the trooper attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a car that was traveling at 69 MPH in a posted 55 MPH zone. After a six minute pursuit, which reached speeds of more than 100 MPH, the suspect vehicle pulled into a residence along Forsell Road in Grandview and stopped. Two suspects exited their vehicle and engaged the trooper with unknown type weapons. Multiple shots from the gunmen struck the trooper’s car, damaging the front end and windshield of the patrol car, as well as the in-car computer. Both suspects fled on foot to the back of the property. The trooper requested assistance and waited for backup before pursuing the fleeing suspects on foot.

A police K-9 was utilized to track the last known whereabouts of the suspects, which led officers to a large shop on the back of the property, near the shooting. A multi-agency response team was quickly enacted which included the Yakima PD SWAT Team. The response team deployed a remote-controlled robot to search the shop for the suspects.

The trooper involved in this shooting is Nate Dawson. Trooper Dawson has been on the force for one year. The trooper did not sustain any injuries from the shooting. The trooper was placed on home assignment as per policy during the investigation.

Both suspects are currently at large. There is no suspect information at this time. If you have information that can assist in this investigation you are asked to call Sgt. Greg Tri at 509-249-6741.

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GRANDVIEW, WA - A manhunt is underway for two dark skinned male suspects in Grandview who shot at a trooper Monday night.

Washington State Patrol tells us they tried stopping a car on State Route 241 around 9:00 Monday night. The driver didn't stop, and drove to the 3800 Blk of Forsell Road in Grandview. We're told the driver got out and fired at the trooper, as the suspect ran away, a trooper fired back.

SWAT surrounded a home and barn they thought the suspect was in, eventually they went inside and didn't find anyone. 

WSP is still on the scene investigating and is asking everyone to avoid the area and report anything suspicious immediately. 

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