GRANGER, Wash - The Yakima County Sheriff's Office is investigating a homicide in Granger, something that hasn't happened in more than a decade in the city. Now some city council members believe crimes like this could be on the rise with the police chief being put on leave earlier this year.
Twenty four-year-old Paul Erik Lopez of Granger died in surgery late Sunday morning after he was shot in the chest. It happened at a house on the 900 block of Guzman Avenue. Monday KNDO did try and talk to the people in the house where this happened, but were told to leave immediately.
Police Chief Robert Perales was put on administrative leave earlier this year pending an investigation that stemmed from community complaints. One council member says she wishes he was still there, while the mayor has no regrets.
"When Chief Perales was here we had the lowest crime rate in the county and with stuff [crimes] happening here you have to start thinking, why he was let go?" explains Council Member Lilia Villarreal.
Investigators are not calling this gang related and are getting little cooperation in developing a description of the suspect.