POLICE - Gang confrontation leads to arrest and recovery of pistol



Gang Detectives from the Walla Walla Police Department and a Sheriff's deputy arrested two gang members and recovered a handgun Wednesday following an altercation on the west end of town earlier in the day. Officers received the call of gang members attempting to start a fight at 12:45 Wednesday afternoon in the area of the 900 block of West Birch. The suspects had already fled the scene in three vehicles when officers arrived.

A short time later, a Walla Walla County deputy observed a vehicle with two suspects who had been involved in the incident. They parked the vehicle and the deputy contacted them a short distance away. Both suspects had warrants for their arrests and were taken into custody. Abel Valdez, 19 years old, was lodged at the Walla Walla County Jail on the warrant and for Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The second suspect, a male juvenile, who also had a warrant for his arrest, was lodged at the Walla Walla County Juvenile Justice Center.

Gang detectives from the police department's Special Teams Unit, were granted a search warrant for the vehicle the two had been seen in. Search of the vehicle yielded "brass knuckles" and a loaded semi-automatic handgun from the trunk. The juvenile, a convicted felon and gang member, claimed ownership of the handgun. He is being held on the warrant and for probable cause for Felon in Possession of a Handgun.


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