Yakima police chief asks witnesses to come forward after three shootings, two dead in 24 hours
YAKIMA, Wash. — Three shootings in Yakima within 24 hours left two men dead, a man wounded and a woman in critical condition.
Yakima police Chief Matt Murray said there’s nothing to indicate that any of the shootings are connected. He also said the incidents don’t pose a direct threat to the public.
“In every one of those crime scenes, there’s clear evidence of ongoing criminal activity,” Murray said.
Murray said it’s unclear who was involved with the criminal activity at the crime scene.
The string of violent incidents began just before 2 a.m. on Friday, with reports of shots fired near North Fifth Avenue and East D Street.
Arriving officers found the home had been struck by bullets; they found shell casings, but no victims. The front door was open when they arrived, but officers were unable to locate anyone, so they shut the door and left the scene.
Shortly before 4 a.m., about two hours later, a passerby found a body under a nearby tree, later identified as that of 20-year-old Luis Acosta. Police say he’d been fatally shot.
“He was located in a vacant lot that’s probably fifty to a hundred yards away from the house, so officers wouldn’t have seen him there,” Murray said.
Murray said it’s possible that Acosta ran from the house to that location following the shooting.
Less than a day later, officers responded to reports of shots fired at the Mesa Apartments on Gordon Road, at about the same time they went out to the previous shots fired call.
Officers found a 25-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his torso in one apartment and 27-year-old woman in a different apartment at the complex suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.
Both victims were taken to a local hospital for treatment. The 27-year-old was eventually transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she remains in critical condition as of Tuesday. The 25-year-old’s condition current medical condition is unknown.
Not more than five minutes later, officers were called to South Ninth Street to reports of shots fired in the area, but like the call on Friday, were unable to find any victims.
Later, someone found the body of 27-year-old Manuel Pantaleon in an alley off of South Ninth Street. Police say he’d been shot in the head.
Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice says autopsies are scheduled Wednesday for Acosta, who was fatally shot Friday, and Pantaleon, who was fatally shot Saturday.
No arrests have been made at this time in any of the three shootings.
“There are people out there who know exactly what happened and they need to come forward and do the right thing,” Murray said.
Anyone with information about these incidents can contact the Yakima Police Department at 509-575-6200 or by calling 911.
Tips can be also be reported to Yakima County Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-248-9980, on the organization’s website at www.crimestoppersyakco.org or through the “P3 Tips” app.