Man shot to death on North 1st, police searching for suspects
YAKIMA, Wash. – A man is dead after Yakima police say he was shot near E. H Street and N. 1st Street.
YPD said they received a call of shots fired, around 2:40 a.m. Thursday, and found 35-year-old Elias Quehpama dead, lying on a sidewalk with multiple gunshot wounds. The Yakima County Coroner says Quehpama bled to death.
Mike Bastinelli with the Yakima Police Department says it all started when the victim and another man were walking home.
“The suspect said something to the two men, then shortly thereafter, the victim turned and said something to the suspects. And at that time, the suspect said something gang-related, some gang slurs, and then proceeded to fire multiple shots, at the victim,” said Bastinelli.
According to reports, the man who was with Quehpama escaped unharmed, and returned when police arrived.
“Detectives were called out this morning, processed the crime scene, and hopefully we’ll be able to get some information today, or the next few days, that’ll allow us to identify a suspect or suspects,” said Bastinelli.
A husband and wife, who refused to go on-camera for fear of their safety, live in the area where the shooting took place.
They tell Action News they heard about 10 to 12 gunshots, in the middle of the night, and called 911. They said given all of the crime in the area, they aren't surprised it happened so close to their home.
As police continue the investigation, they say they’re still searching for a motive, but they do believe it to be gang-related.
“The question is always asked is, ‘Is it gang-related?’ What we do know, is that the people that we believe were responsible showed that they’re involved with gangs,” said Bastinelli.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact YPD at (509) 575-6200 or Crimestoppers at (800) 248-9980.