Drive-by suspects returned to area

Four people face charges in connection with a shooting near Howard Tietan Park.


WALLA WALLA -- Two adults and two juveniles arrested in connection with a July drive-by shooting have been returned to Walla Walla County.

Daniel Ramos-Lara, 26, of 434 Ankeny St., Walla Walla, and Francisco Casillas Jr., 30, of 307 S.E. 10th Ave., Milton-Freewater, had their first appearances in Superior Court today after waiving extradition. Both men had been lodged in Umatilla County Jail after being arrested in Milton-Freewater last weekend on warrants issued in Walla Walla County.

Ramos-Lara has been charged with four counts of first-degree assault and one count each of drive-by shooting and riot. Casillas is charged with four counts of complicity to first-degree assault and one count each of complicity to drive-by shooting and complicity to riot.

Superior Court Judge John Lorhmann set bail at $300,000 for both men.

Jose Rodriguez, 18, of 612 N.E. Fifth St., Milton-Freewater, and Ernesto Moreno, 15, 510 N.W. Fourth St., Apt. A, Milton-Freewater, had their first appearance Monday in Walla Walla County Superior Court. Both were also arrested in Milton-Freewater and are charged with one count each of felony riot.

Moreno was released to the custody of his parents and Rodriguez, who turned 18 on Tuesday, was ordered held at the county Juvenile Justice Center.

The arrests stemmed from the July 28 drive-by shooting in Walla Walla that police say was gang-related.

In a probable cause statement filed in Superior Court, on the day of the shooting police allege Casillas drove a pickup truck containing himself and a number of other males into Walla Walla in pursuit of a sport-utility vehicle containing five people.

Police allege Casillas, Ramos-Lara and the others in the truck are either known gang members or associates of a gang and were chasing the people in the other vehicle because they were 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 and Tietan streets, police say Ramos-Lara, who was in the passenger seat of the pickup truck, fired shots from a small-caliber revolver at the other vehicle. No one was hit, but one of the bullets penetrated a window of a Tietan Street residence occupied by four people.

Both groups fled after the shooting.

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


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