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Friday, 20 May 2011

First Gang-Related Murder in Walla Walla

15:36 |

20 year old Walla Walla man was shot to death Tuesday evening during a confrontation with suspected rival gang members. Julio Cesar Martinez was walking in an alley in the 300 block of Myrtle Street, when he and a friend were approached by several subjects. At least 4 shots were fired, two of which struck Martinez. He died a short time later at Providence Saint Mary Medical Center. The second subject with Martinez was not injured. Martinez was known to be a local gang member and had been arrested numerous times in the Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater area.

Walla Walla Police, with assistance from the Sheriff’s Office, College Place Police Department, and the Washington State Patrol, cordoned off the area while Detectives processed the scene. At least one residence was evacuated.

Several homes in the area where the suspects may have run were kept under close surveillance pending searches. The Emergency Services Unit SWAT team was called out to make entry at one residence. Interviews of several witnesses and family members are taking place at this time. No arrests have been made and leads continue to come in.

Walla Walla Police Detectives and the City’s Special Teams Unit continued to run down leads Wednesday morning on Tuesday night’s homicide. No arrests have been made at this time. Interviews of over a dozen subjects, many of which are known gang members, were conducted throughout the night and into the morning. Officials are concerned over possible retaliation and all area law enforcement are on heightened alert, with special emphasis on areas known to be frequented by gang members.

This is the first known gang related homicide inside the city limits of Walla Walla. This is the first homicide by firearm in the city for several years.


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