New details in third officer involved shooting case - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New details in third officer involved shooting case

Posted: Updated:

12-28-17 UPDATE:

YAKIMA, WA - New details are emerging involving the third officer involved shooting that happened Wednesday morning in Yakima.

The suspect in the shooting, Gabriel Zavala, is still recovering under guard at Harborview in Seattle.

On Tuesday night just after 6 p.m., officers went to the home on 4th and St. Helens after someone called 9-1-1 saying Zavala was a wanted suspect in a Christmas Day shooting in Union Gap.

YPD says when one officer arrived, Zavala immediately opened fire and then rammed the patrol car to get away.

Another officer was on his way to provide backup and Zavala also shot at him.

Those two officers are Jeff Ely and Efren Morfin, each with more than 10 years of experience with YPD.

Zavala led police to a neighborhood on 12th and Viola, where he barricaded himself in an outbuilding.

Police spent several hours trying to get him to surrender, but when he came out armed, he was shot by police.

YPD SWAT Officers Scott Grant and Matt Sutton are now on paid administrative leave, and Washington State Patrol is investigating the shooting.

Yakima Police detectives are investigating the exchange of gunfire that happened on 4th Avenue and St. Helens.


12-28-17 UPDATE: 

YAKIMA, WA - The Yakima Police Department has released the names of the YPD officers involved in a a shooting with Gabriel Zavala Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. 

While on the 800 Block of South 4th Avenue, 37-year-old Jeff Ely and 38-year-old Efren Morfin exchanged gunfire with Zavala. Ely has been with YPD for 10 years and Morfin for 11 years. 

When they encountered Zavala on the 1300 Block of South 12th Avenue, 37-year-old Officer Scott Grant and 34-year-old Officer Matt Sutton discharged their weapons. Grant has been with YPD for ten years, and Sutton has been with the department for four years. 

Both incidents are being investigated by Washington State Patrol and the Yakima Police Department. 



YAKIMA, WA - Police are investigating their third officer-involved shooting in two days. Yakima Police responded to the 800 Block of South 4th Avenue after someone reported seeing 30-year-old Gabriel Zavala who was wanted in connection to a shooting in Union Gap Friday night. 

When the officers got there, they contacted Zavala who immediately opened fire on the officer. That officer exchanged gunfire with the suspect as he got in his car to drive off. While leaving, Zavala rammed the officers patrol unit so he could escape. 

Moments later the suspect drove by another officer who was responding to help the first officer. Zavala allegedly opened fire on that officer and they also exchanged gunfire as Zavala left the area. 

Witnesses tipped off police that he was in a shop garage on the 1300 Block of 12th Avenue where he barricaded himself in a garage.  Officers applied for a search warrant and called Yakima SWAT around 11:00 p.m. they tried negotiating for hours with no luck.

After several hours and requests to surrender, police used a chemical irritant to get him to come outside. He came out of the garage armed and was shot by police.  

Medics took him to a nearby hospital and transported him to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for further treatment. The two YPD officers assigned to the SWAT team have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol.

This is the 28th SWAT callout for officers this year, which is twice the normal amount. 

Washington State Patrol is investigating.