Arrest made in Walla Walla drive-by shooting


WALLA WALLA — Officials have arrested and charged a man in the drive-by shooting outside a residence in the 1100 block of West Cherry Street last week.

Eric A. Nordman, 27, of 51455 Highway 332, Milton-Freewater, was taken into custody in Waitsburg about 9 a.m. today, police said.

He was charged today in Walla Walla County Superior Court with four counts of first-degree assault and one count of drive-by shooting. Bail was set at $100,000.

Police believe Nordman was in a Toyota Camry with another person as it drove by 1140 W. Cherry St. about 11:35 p.m. Thursday. At least nine shots were fired from the vehicle. A victim told police Nordman likely was the driver.

Sgt. Chris Buttice said this morning, “We are still actively investigating.”

Three people were wounded in the attack outside the residence on Cherry Street. They received treatment at Providence St. Mary Medical Center, but all have since been discharged.

Jesse Castillo, 21, suffered wounds to his left arm and both legs, according to a police report filed in court. Nelson B. Zuniga, 22, was hit in his left arm. Both are reportedly gang members and live at the residence. A third victim, Myra Urincho, 21, later was found to have suffered an injury to her buttocks.

Witnesses said a small, metallic-colored car had driven by the area, then returned and the shots were fired.

Seven spent casings — commonly fired from an SKS- or AK-47-style assault rifle — were found at the scene.

Round impacts were discovered in the shared driveway of 1140 and 1144 W. Cherry St., and the residence at 1144 W. Cherry, including into a room where 98-year-old Raul Madrigal Corona was sleeping on a hide-a-bed couch, the police report says.

The round penetrated the couch and a cardboard box and landed on clothes inside. Corona wasn’t injured.

Police learned from Castillo that a person named Eric was giving Urincho problems. Castillo had challenged Eric to fight, but Eric refused, the report says.

When Castillo was shot, he saw what he believed to be a shotgun out the drivers’ side window of the passing vehicle, according to the police report.

“(Castillo) said there was a passenger who was leaning across the driver and it was the passenger who actually fired. Jesse Castillo said he believed it was Eric who was the driver, but then qualified it by saying he was not certain.”

Police later confirmed Eric’s last name was Nordman and Castillo positively identified him from a photo lineup as the driver, the police report says.

Nordman also is awaiting trial on an attempted burglary charge for allegedly planning to break into storage units at the Veterans Memorial Golf Course in early April. Two other people were with him when he was arrested and a semiautomatic rifle and pistol were located in his Chevrolet Trailblazer. But he claimed he didn’t possess either gun.

Judge John Lohrmann ordered Nordman released May 30, placing him on house arrest pending the outcome of that case.

Castillo was charged last month with fourth-degree assault and riot for his alleged participation in a fight in the area of 12th Avenue and Cherry Street on July 5. He was summoned to court for his arraignment on the gross-misdemeanor charges Monday, but because of his injuries the appearance was postponed.

Union-Bulletin reporter Luke Hegdal contributed to this report.


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