WALLA WALLA - An acknowledged local gang affiliate has been charged in Superior Court with driving the getaway car after a robbery of the Zip Zone Conoco in February.
Carlos Uriel Ramirez Lopez, 16, of 368 Myrtle St., was charged Tuesday in the court's Juvenile Department with first-degree rendering criminal assistance.
Lopez is suspected of driving Corey J. Reece to and from the Zip Zone, 110 N. Ninth Ave., which Reece allegedly robbed about 1 a.m. Feb. 18.
Officials believe Reece pulled a sweatband up around his face as he allegedly entered the store, walked to the cooler and took two 12-packs of beer. The clerk on duty then saw the robber reach into his pants and retrieve a pistol, but the gun got caught and the magazine ejected, according to a police report filed in court.
The robber then scrambled to pick up the magazine and the clerk told him to take the beer and leave. As "the suspect was exiting the store the suspect paused and told (the clerk) if he came outside he would ‘blast' him," the police report says.
The robber reportedly left in a gold-colored sedan heading west on Alder Street.
In a later interview with police, Lopez reportedly said he had driven his father's Toyota Camry - with Reece in the front passenger seat - to the area of the store. Reece got out, returned from the store with two 12-packs of beer and Lopez drove them away westbound, according to Lopez's account.
But Lopez maintained he didn't learn until the following day that Reece allegedly had robbed the store, the police report says.
Lopez is being summoned to court April 29 for his first appearance on the charge.
Reece, 24, of 923 1/2 W. Chestnut St., was charged earlier in adult court with first-degree robbery and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. His trial is set for May 17.
Terry McConn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8319.