YAKIMA, WA - Interim Yakima Police Chief Gary Jones has returned Yakima Police Department Sergeant Joe Salinas to patrol duty as of Tuesday, December 18, following a preliminary review of an incident on November 25 that included Salinas shooting at a fleeing armed robbery suspect.
Salinas had been on desk duty since the incident. Based on information provided by the Yakima Valley Special Investigations Unit, which consists of investigators from several Central Washington law enforcement agencies, Jones determined that Salinas should be returned to patrol duty.
The information provided by the YVSIU will be forwarded to Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic.
A Use of Force Review Board is being assembled to review the incident. Results of the board’s findings are expected in early 2019.
On Sunday, November 25 shortly after 7:30 p.m., YPD officers responded to the Subway sandwich shop located at 1300 North 40th Avenue after being dispatched to a suspected armed robbery. Witnesses at the Subway told officers the suspected robber, who was described as a Latino man in his mid-20s with black hair, about 6 feet tall, and weighing about 200 pounds, had fled the sandwich shop and gotten into the passenger side of a nearby vehicle.
Salinas, a 28-year YPD veteran, located the vehicle the suspected robber was reported to be in and conducted a high-risk stop in the 700 block of North 40th Avenue. Once the vehicle stopped, the suspected robber exited from the passenger side and began running eastbound.
Salinas directed the suspected robber to stop, but the suspect did not follow Salinas’ commands. Salinas then fired a single shot at the suspect. The suspect, 26-year-old Casimiro Gutiérrez, was not hit by the shot fired by Salinas and was able to flee the scene. He was arrested the next day, November 26, at his home in Yakima and is charged with first degree robbery.
The driver of the vehicle, Omar Gutiérrez, the 22-year-old brother of Casimiro Gutiérrez, was arrested by YPD officers at the scene of the high-risk stop and is also charged with first degree robbery.