Pair charged in Walla Walla knife, gun attacks

Fernando Saenz Jr. and Jacihel Contreras, alleged gang members, are accused with attacking four people Saturday morning.

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WALLA WALLA -- Formal charges have been filed in Superior Court against two men suspected of one of the worst gang-related attacks in the local area during the past two decades.

Fernando Saenz Jr., 22, of 440 Sprague Ave., was charged Monday afternoon with five counts of first-degree assault. Also charged was an alleged fellow gang member, Jacihel Contreras, 25, of 420 N. Sixth Ave., who faces two counts of first-degree assault, in addition to one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm because he is a convicted felon.

Saenz is accused of stabbing five men during a melee about 2:15 a.m. Saturday outside 1306 Center St. 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.

Officials said Saenz stabbed Juan P. Robles, 22; Louis Camargo, 42; and brothers Alan Roblero, 22, and Osman Roblero, 21. In addition, Saenz is believed to have stabbed Contreras by mistake.

The Robleros also were shot, allegedly by Contreras armed with a semiautomatic handgun.

The victims were taken to area hospitals. Osman Roblero, the mostly seriously injured, was shot twice in the chest and suffered stab wounds. He was transferred to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland and at last report was in critical condition.

Saenz was arrested about noon Saturday. Contreras was booked into the County Jail later in the day after treatment for his stab wounds.

If convicted as charged, they could be ordered to serve decades in prison.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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