Grant County Sheriff's Deputies today are investigating a series of Saturday night gang-involved shooting incidents near Mattawa which left one person injured.
The series of incidents started around 11:50 p.m. when deputies responded to several reports of shots fired in Desert Aire, about five miles south of Mattawa.
While deputies were checking the Desert Aire area, several reports of shots fired were received in Beverly, a small community on the Columbia River about five miles north of Mattawa. Deputies enroute to Beverly saw a vehicle speeding away and stopped the car. The driver of that car, Juan Tapia, age 26 of Yakima, was wanted on a warrant and tried to run from deputies. After a brief struggle, Tapia was arrested for the warrant, and charges of obstructing a law enforcement officer. A search discovered Tapia was in possession of drugs, and he was charged with possession of 88-grams of methamphetamine, over 40-grams of marijuana, and possessing legend drugs without a prescription. He was booked into the Grant County Jail.
As deputies were completing the Beverly incident investigation, a vehicle drove by, and the occupants of that car, believed to be gang members, made threatening gestures towards the deputies. Deputies stopped the vehicle and discovered one of the occupants, a 27-year-old Ruben Lucio of Mattawa, was wounded in the head, back and legs by gunshots, likely shotgun pellets. That shooting apparently had just happened since the wounds were fresh. It was reported the shooters were driving a green Honda Accord. Lucio was transported to Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake.
While deputies were dealing with that incident, an officer with the Mattawa Police Department stopped a green Honda Accord Coupe. The occupants of that car fled on foot carrying firearms and escaped capture. It is believed that Accord and possibly its occupants are connected to the shooting of Lucio and also a drive-by shooting Thursday Nov. 10 in Desert Aire which injured two people. The Accord was seized as well and held for search warrant.
Anyone with information on any of these incidents should call
509-762-1160. Tipsters can remain anonymous.