Arrests made in case of Yakima man shot in his yard

Image provided by Yakima Police, Twitter

YAKIMA, Wash. — U.S. Marshals from the Pacific Northwest Violent Offenders Task Force on Wednesday arrested a man believed to have shot a 35-year-old man as he worked on his front yard, leaving the victim paralyzed.

According to the Yakima Police Department, 19-year-old Jose Ortega was apprehended for his alleged participation in a shooting that seriously injured Jonathan Spear.

The victim was gardening in front of his home at S 24th and W Chestnut avenues on Sunday evening when police say a blue Ford Taurus pulled up, someone inside shot him, and the driver sped away.

Ortega is facing numerous charges including first-degree assault and drive-by shooting. Yakima Police Captain Jay Seely hopes this arrest will bring some comfort to a fearful community that is rallying around Spear.

“I commend Yakima Police Department (YPD) Patrol Officer John Oliveri for finding the suspect vehicle within hours of the shooting and YPD Major Crimes Unit detectives for their tireless work bringing this case together so quickly,” Captain Seely said. “This case will now be turned over to the prosecutor’s office and the two suspects will be held accountable in a court of law. My hope is this will help bring some relief to the shooting victim’s family and help the Barge-Chestnut area feel some restored sense of safety and security.”

Yakima police officials confirmed to KAPP-KVEW that another suspect was apprehended on Tuesday in connection with the shooting. Per court documents, an officer located the Taurus and cross-referenced information to ensure that this was the same car used in the shooting. Police obtained a search warrant for the car and confirmed the suspect’s identity as Gabriel Farias II.

Farias was apprehended and brought to the Yakima Police Department for questioning. Around the same time, other witnesses provided incriminating evidence and statements suggesting that Farias and Ortega were each displaying erratic behavior.

Court documents suggest that the weapon belonged to Farias, but was stolen out of his backpack by Ortega and used in the shooting. Farias alleged that he approached a stop sign in front of the victim’s home when Ortega drew the weapon, fired, and urged the victim to speed off to the Mesa apartments on the 1700-block of Gordon Rd, where officers later located the car.

Farias will face a first-degree charge of rendering criminal assistance.

Despite having the suspect in custody, the motives behind the shooting remain unclear to the authorities.

Spear’s family says Jonathan was “relieved and overwhelmed” to hear the news of the arrests. A GoFundMe set up by his family states “it is doubtful he will ever walk again.”

Jonathan Spear

Spear Family/GoFundMe

This is a developing story that will be updated with additional information as it is announced. In the meanwhile, you can read our initial post and/or an update on Spear’s recovery and community support by clicking the links below:


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