Trial set for December in drive-by shooting

Daniel Ramos-Lara and Francisco Casillas Jr. have been charged along with two teens in connection with a shooting in late July.

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WALLA WALLA -- Two men pleaded innocent Monday afternoon to their alleged roles in what police say was a gang-related, drive-by shooting at Howard and Tietan streets last summer.

Daniel Ramos-Lara and Francisco Casillas Jr. are scheduled for trial Dec. 19 in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Ramos-Lara, 26, of 434 Ankeny St., is charged with four counts of first-degree assault and one count each of drive-by shooting and riot.

Casillas, 30, whose last known address isn't confirmed, is accused of complicity in all of the charges.

Officials said Ramos-Lara and other gang members were in an extended-cab Chevrolet pickup -- driven by Casillas -- that was chasing rival gang members in a Chevy Tahoe about 5:40 p.m. July 28.

As the vehicles were heading north on Howard at Tietan, Ramos-Lara -- a front-seat passenger in the pickup -- fired shots from a .22-caliber revolver at the fleeing Tahoe in a northeasterly direction, according to a police report filed in court.

A witness told police the Tahoe then headed east on Tietan and the pickup fled either west on Tietan or continued north on Howard.

A bullet penetrated a window of a residence, but no one in the house was injured nor were there reports of any gang members being hurt.

Two suspects police say were in the bed of the pickup have been charged in juvenile court with felony riot for allegedly throwing rocks at the Tahoe. Ernesto Moreno, 15, of 510 N.W. Fourth Ave., Apt. A, Milton-Freewater, and Jose A. Rodriguez, who turned 18 last month, of 612 N.E. Fifth Ave., Milton-Freewater, have pleaded innocent to the charges. Their trial is set for Nov. 10.

The four defendants were arrested in a roundup conducted by area law enforcement Oct. 14 and 15, officials said.

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

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