WALLA WALLA -- Police are continuing to investigate the melee caused by alleged gang members outside a residence on Center Street over the weekend.Terry McConn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8319.
The two suspects, Fernando Saenz and Jacihel Contreras, appeared in Superior Court this morning, where bail for each was set at $250,000.
Saenz is believed to have stabbed five people in the confrontation about 2:15 a.m. Saturday at 1306 Center. Contreras allegedly shot two of the victims.
Police said the violence broke out at a birthday party for a daughter of the woman who rents the home. The daughter reportedly lives elsewhere.
Members of a local gang were attending the function and apparently confronted a group of men when they dropped by to retrieve a coat for a woman who had left earlier, police said. Those victims have no known gang affiliation and it wasn't clear this morning what led to the assaults.
Officials said Saenz, 22, of 440 Sprague Ave., stabbed Juan P. Robles, Louis Camargo, and brothers Alan and Osman Roblero. In addition, Saenz is believed to have stabbed Contreras, a fellow gang member, by mistake.
The Robleros also were shot, allegedly by Contreras armed with a semiautomatic handgun.
The victims were taken to area hospitals. Robles suffered at least five stab wounds to the torso and Alan Roblero was stabbed in the abdomen, in addition to suffering a superficial gunshot wound to his head. They last were listed in serious condition.
Camargo was satisfactory, with two stab wounds that didn't require surgery, police said.
The most seriously injured, Osman Roblero, was shot twice in the chest and sustained stab wounds. He was transferred to Emanuel Medical Center in Portland and at last report was listed in critical condition.
Contreras, 25, of 420 N. Sixth Ave., was booked into the County Jail after treatment for his stab wounds.
Police Detective Kevin Bayne told the Union-Bulletin this morning officers have heard there have been gang-related parties at the residence, owned by Steve Ruley, manager of the Walla Walla emergency services dispatch center. "But it was not a matter we could take action on," Bayne said.
Therefore, without validation or a formal complaint, Steve Ruley and his wife, Vicki Ruley, crime prevention specialist for the Walla Walla Police Department, were not informed, Bayne added.