Walla Walla police arrest teen in murder

By the Herald staff May 22, 2011 

WALLA WALLA -- Walla Walla police arrested an 18-year-old early Saturday on suspicion of first-degree murder and assault related to a gang shooting earlier in the week.

Gang detectives from the Special Teams Unit picked up Benito Gomez, 18, at 2:40 a.m. after questioning him Friday night in connection with the death of Julio Cesar Martinez, 20, on Tuesday.

Martinez reportedly was walking down an alley with a friend Tuesday when he is believed to have been confronted by rival gang members. Four shots were fired. Two hit Martinez, and he later died at Providence St. Mary Medical Center.

It was the first homicide involving a gun in Walla Walla in several years, police said.

Police said earlier this week that Martinez was a known gang member who had been arrested several times in Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater.

Gomez allegedly is a member of a rival gang.

More arrests are expected as the investigation continues, police said.

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