Prosser shootings investigation
A tenant in a Prosser apartment complex apparently was shot multiple times early Monday just as police were responding for a burglary report.
One officer then ended up shot in the leg during a foot chase with a suspect.
That officer fired back, but police say it is unknown if the suspect was hit or wounded.
Fourteen hours later, a Richland teen was arrested in Kennewick on a charge of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon. It is not clear what alleged role he had in the shooting.
The Tri-City Special Investigative Unit had gathered information earlier in the day that led to a warrant being issued for the arrest of 19-year-old Abdiel Benjamin Vargas.
Kennewick police spotted Vargas in a car traveling near West Clearwater Avenue and Highway 395 about 3:30 p.m. They stopped the car and took Vargas into custody without incident.
He is being booked into the Benton County jail on $500,000 bail.
Prosser officer treated at hospital
Prosser police and Benton County sheriff’s deputies identified several additional people of interest, but had not released names or information on them, including gender and age.
The Prosser officer, Antonio Bustamante, was taken to Prosser Memorial Health for treatment and released Monday morning. He was hit by one bullet, according to a news release from Prosser police.
Bustamante, 24, has been with the department for a little more than one year.
The wounded tenant’s injuries also are said to be non-life threatening.
No information has been given on that tenant or how they got shot just as officers arrived on scene. Police said the tenant was not involved in the crime.
Officers were called to the Canyon Park Apartments at 1:06 a.m. for a report of suspicious people trying to gain entry into two apartments. The complex is west of the downtown area.
One officer arrived to find a person in the parking lot at 229 Canyon Drive.
The person, upon seeing the officer, started to run away, the news release said.
The officer gave chase, at which point the suspect fired at the officer, the release said.
The suspect got away. Police closed off the neighborhood near Highway 22 and spent all night searching.
The Washington State Patrol’s Crime Scene Response Team, an evidence technician from Kennewick police and a Hanford patrol officer and dog were at the complex throughout Monday. Sheriff’s deputies also reportedly flew a drone over the scene to help with the investigation.
Annette Cary contributed to this report.