Yakima police arrest 20-year-old suspect in fatal stabbing

YAKIMA, Wash. — Yakima police have arrested a 20-year-old man suspected of fatally stabbing another man Saturday on North First Street, across from the Union Gospel Mission.

Police said the 20-year-old man was discovered at the scene of the crime, where a 58-year-old man had been attacked with a knife and suffered a slash across his shoulder and stab wounds to the chest.

“The suspect did admit to being involved in the assault, but denied the fact that he stabbed the victim,” Capt. Jay Seely said.

The victim was taken to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, where he died from his injuries shortly after midnight. The name of the victim is being withheld until family members can be notified and an autopsy is scheduled for later this week.

Seely said a knife was found at the scene and detectives were able to find surveillance video from a nearby business that captured the incident. He said the motive is unclear.

“There is no reason for it at this point; the suspect immediately asked for an attorney after he admitted to being involved in assault,” Seely said. “He did not want to talk to us any further and there were no witnesses that could provide any information as to why there was an assault … so we have no idea what led up to it.”

Both the suspect and victim in this incident are homeless. This is the second violent incident involving homeless individuals in the past week, but Seely said it’s likely the incidents involved other factors, such as mental health concerns or intoxication.

“Although they are violent acts, they could be committed by anybody — not just the homeless,” Seely said. “We certainly don’t want to villainize the homeless just because these two acts were committed by transients. They could be committed by anybody in our population.”

The 20-year-old man is being held in the Yakima County jail on suspicion of second-degree murder and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday to be arraigned on charges.

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