Kennewick police get reports of gunshots

By Paula Horton, Tri-City HeraldApril 28, 2012 

— Kennewick police have investigated two reports of shots being fired in as many days.

The first report came in late Thursday, but no victims or damage were found, police said.

The second, a suspected drive-by shooting, was reported around 5:30 p.m. Friday near Fourth Avenue and Underwood Street. There were no reports of injuries.

An alert relayed to area law enforcement officers said two shots were heard, but no one was hurt. Officers were looking for a Chevy or Ford pickup.

On Thursday, an officer on patrol first heard what sounded like two gunshots around 11:50 p.m. when he was in the area of Fourth Avenue and Buntin Street, said Mike Blatman, Kennewick police spokesman.

Several moments later, a man called 911 and reported that he thought he had been shot at, Blatman said.

The man told police he was walking east on Fourth Avenue near Yelm Street when a maroon Oldsmobile Cutlass with four people drove by him then stopped near Westgate Elementary School.

Two men reportedly got out of the car and started walking in his direction, and then he said he heard two gunshots, Blatman said.

The man said he believed he was being shot at, so he ran toward the SunMart and called police, but Blatman said there was no indication that the suspects were shooting at him.

Officers couldn't find any shell casings or damage, and they received no other reports about the gunshots, he said.

Officers seek missing Hermiston woman, 26

Umatilla County law enforcement officers are seeking the public's help in finding a missing Hermiston woman.

They have called the circumstances of her disappearance "suspicious," and say she may be with her former boyfriend.

Melody Kaye Mickel, 26, last was seen around 5:30 a.m. Thursday leaving a Rite Aid store in Hermiston, where she worked, said Umatilla County sheriff's officials.

Mickel later was reported missing by her co-worker and Hermiston police began investigating.

The investigating led them to a home on Powerline Road, west of Hermiston, where Alberto Quiroz Martinez, 28, lives, authorities said.

"Once out at the residence, there were additional suspicious circumstances located," sheriff's officials said.

They did not say what the circumstances were, but they activated the Umatilla/Morrow County Major Crime Team. Investigators are waiting on a warrant to search the home.

An attempt-to-locate was broadcast to law enforcement agencies in the region about Mickel and Martinez.

Mickel is 5-foot-5, 124 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Martinez is 5-foot-11, 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

They last were seen in a black 2006 Subaru Legacy, with Oregon plates 003CWZ.

Anyone with information on the couple or the vehicle is asked to call 541-966-3651.

Crime Stoppers seek fugitive from Montana

Kennewick police and Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers are searching for fugitive wanted in Montana for probation violation, escape and assault.

Lawrence Michael Keffeler, 47, was last known to be living in the Tri-Cities, where he's also wanted for two counts of failing to appear in court on first-degree theft charges.

Keffeler is 5-foot-8, 185 pounds with black hair, brown eyes and a tattoo of a feather on his right arm. He has used the name Michael Smith.

Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers pays a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that results in a felony arrest.

Anyone with information about Keffeler's whereabouts can call 586-8477 or go to www.tricitiescrimestoppers. org.

Tips can also be sent by text message by writing "Text TIP 411" plus the message to CRIMES (274637).

All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential.

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