Two men are being held in the Yakima County jail in connection with a drive-by shooting at an East E Street apartment complex.
Yakima police were called around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday for a report of shots fired at a 221 E. E St. apartment building. Callers gave police a description of a white SUV leaving the area just after the shots were fired, according to a probable cause affidavit.
An officer stopped the SUV at North Ninth Street and East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, according to the affidavit. When backup arrived, officers had the vehicle’s four occupants get out one at a time. When a 19-year-old Yakima man got out of the rear driver’s side passenger seat, officers heard a metal object hit the ground, the affidavit said, and found a spent shell casing.
At the apartments, officers found four bullet holes in the outside of one apartment, and a bullet hole in a bedroom wall inches above a mattress.
“Had there been someone there, we can speculate but it would not have been a good situation,” Deputy Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Heather Thorn said during a preliminary appearance hearing Thursday. She said the shooting was gang related.
Officers also found eight 9mm shell casings and a red hat at the intersection of North Third and East G streets, about a block north of the shooting site, and witnesses said they saw an SUV matching the description of the suspect SUV shortly after hearing nine shots fired, the affidavit said.
Yakima County Superior Court Judge Richard Bartheld set bail for the SUV’s driver, a 24-year-old Yakima man, at $250,000, noting the potential for tripping the state’s “three strikes” law.
The man has a prior conviction for second-
degree assault in 2018 and at the time of the shooting was out on bail on a second-degree assault charge. The conviction was the man’s first strike under the state’s three-strikes law. If he is convicted on the pending second-degree assault charge and possible first-degree assault charges in the drive-by, it would require a sentence of life without parole, Bartheld said.
Bartheld said he could have ordered the man held without bail under those circumstances.
The 19-year-old, who Thorn said is believed to be the shooter, was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Both men are being held on suspicion of first-degree assault and drive-by shooting.