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Thursday, 24 September 2009

Jose L Rodriguez, 19, of 117 N.E. 11th Ave., was booked into Walla Walla County Jail Sunday following several reports of shots fired

22:07 |

Jose L Rodriguez, 19, of 117 N.E. 11th Ave., was booked into Walla Walla County Jail Sunday following several reports of shots fired in the area of Second Avenue and Eagan Street shortly after midnight.Rodriguez was detained by members of the Special Teams Unit as he was apparently leaving the area in a vehicle immediately after the shots were fired, according to a Walla Walla Police Department news release.
Rodriguez is being held on suspicion of first-degree assault and possession of methamphetamine. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia. No bail had been set as of this morning pending a preliminary appearance before a judge.Near the scene, police recovered a semiautomatic SKS rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun that were apparently used in the shooting. No one is believed to have been injured.Events leading up to the shooting apparently originated at the National Guard Armory, 113 S. Colville St., where a fight was reported during a dance about 11:45 p.m. on Saturday.Officer Tim Bennett, spokesman for the city's police, said an attendee called dispatch to report suspicious people at the dance. The suspicious people had left the dance by the time officers arrived. But police learned at the scene that a fight had apparently broken out between two rival gang members.The fight moved to Eagan Street between Second and Third avenues, where some gang members apparently live, Bennett said. Within just a few minutes, the fight had grown to include at least 20 people, representing both gangs, Bennett added.
About 12:10 a.m. Sunday, many area residents called 911 with reports of gunfire near that area.The shots are believed to have been fired while the suspects stood outside. No one was reported injured, and Bennett said the opposing groups weren't standing very close to each other.On investigation, officers learned that at least one of the involved people may have fired shots into the air, although police believe shots were fired directly at someone or something."They were aiming at something," Bennett said. "It wasn't just trying to scare them."Along with the guns, officers also recovered a spent shell casing from the assault rifle. It was unclear how many shots may have been fired, although between one and two dozen appears likely."I don't think anybody really knows for sure," Bennett said.College Place Police officers and Walla Walla County Sheriff's deputies assisted local police. The city's Special Teams Unit is investigating.Meanwhile, the sheriff's office may have recovered a vehicle used in the shootout.The vehicle was discovered abandoned in the 1000 block of Electric Avenue Sunday. One of the vehicle's tires was shredded, the ignition was punched out, and the dash was damaged as if struck by someone's head, according to the report.Bennett said the best action the public can take to help curb gang activity is to report anything suspicious. Callers reserve the right to make anonymous tips."Things get the way they are right now because people haven't been calling in with their hunches," he said.

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