Police arrest four in July drive-by shooting

Two adults and two juveniles were arrested Friday night or Saturday morning.


WALLA WALLA - Two adults and two juveniles have been arrested in connection with a July drive-by shooting in July that police say was gang-related.

All four were arrested in Milton-Freewater between 10:45 p.m. Friday and early Saturday, said Officer Tim Bennett, Walla Walla Police spokesman. The Walla Walla officers were aided by Milton-Freewater Police Department officers and Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office deputies, Bennett said.

The arrests were the result of an investigation that began July 28 when police were called at 5:40 p.m. to the area of Second Avenue and East Tietan Street for a report of a vehicle chasing another vehicle and shots being fired. There were no injuries, but a nearby residence was struck by a bullet.

According to arrest warrants filed in Walla Walla County Superior Court, the adults arrested are Daniel Ramos-Lara, 26, of 434 Ankeny St., Walla Walla, and Francisco Casillas Jr., 30, of 307 S.E. 19th St., Milton-Freewater. Both were being held in Umatilla County Jail on Saturday, Bennett said.

Ramos-Lara was arrested for investigation of four counts of first-degree assault, one count of drive-by shooting and one count of riot. Casillas was arrested for investigation of four counts of complicity to first-degree assault, one count of complicity to drive-by shooting and one count of complicity to riot.

Court documents identified the juveniles as Jose A. Rodriguez, 17, 612 N.E. Fifth Ave., Milton-Freewater, and Ernesto Moreno, 16, 510 N.W. Fourth St., Apt. A, Milton-Freewater. Both were arrested for investigation of one count of felony riot and were lodged in a juvenile detention facility.

According to a probable cause statement filed in Superior Court, on the day of the shooting police allege Casillas was driving a pickup truck containing himself and a number of other males in pursuit of a sport-utility vehicle containing five rival gang members. The pursuit in Walla Walla followed a shooting in Milton-Freewater reported about 15 minutes earlier, police said.

At the intersection of Howard Street and Tietan Street, police allege Ramos-Lara, who was in the passenger seat of the pickup truck, leaned out and fired a small-caliber revolver at the other vehicle. One of the bullets penetrated a window of a residence on Tietan Street occupied by four people, according to the probable cause statement. Both groups then fled the area in their respective vehicles.

During the shooting, Rodriguez and Moreno, who were in the bed of the pickup truck, allegedly threw rocks at the other vehicle, according to the probable cause statement.


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