Marchers say gangs aren't issue

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WALLA WALLA — Family and friends of the late Ceasar Chavira, who was killed during a burglary at the New York Store May 4, gathered for a second protest march against the actions of store owner John Saul, who shot Chavira.

Signs ranged from calls for justice to more pointed accusations of murder. Several protestors held signs that read, “It’s Not About Gangs — It’s About Excessive Force.”

“It wasn’t really a gang activity that was going on,” said Chavira’s cousin, Eder Alejandre.

Ramon Gomez, a self-described “friend of the community” added that Chavira was wrong to break into the store.

“What Ceasar did was not right,” Gomez said. “They were both wrong.”

Alejandre and Gomez both said they were concerned that the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Chavira were not a clear case of self defense, as Saul’s legal counsel has alleged.

“We’re all one community living together,” Gomez said, adding that his hope is that the protests will help prevent a similar tragedy in the future by encouraging more community involvement.

Undersheriff Edward Freyer said this week that the investigation into the shooting death of Chavira could be concluded at the end of this week or early next week.

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