A suspected gang member who was shot at by Sunnyside police after allegedly pointing a gun at them during a traffic stop is now being sought in the Tri-Cities.
Marcus Anthony Torres, 27, has ties to Kennewick and officers "have reason to believe he is in Kennewick, or at least in the Tri-Cities," said Mike Blatman, Kennewick police spokesman.
Torres, who uses the street name "Joker," also has been linked to a homicide investigation by the Yakima County Sheriff's Office.
Torres reportedly jumped from a car stopped by Sunnyside police at noon Tuesday because he thought he was going to be arrested for the murder of Jose Manuel Correa, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported.
Another passenger in the car, which was stopped for an equipment violation, was arrested in connection with Correa's death, the newspaper said.
Correa, 40, was found dead April 2 in an almost empty canal on Barnhart Road. He died of blunt force trauma to the head. He had been reported missing by his family on April 1, the day after his burned car was found in the same area near Granger.
Yakima County sheriff's Detective Sgt. Bob Udell said a 24-year-old man and 19-year-old woman were booked into the Yakima County jail in connection with the homicide investigation.
The Yakima Herald-Republic said James Dean Long of Selah and Daisy Alvarez Valencia of Outlook were arrested on suspicion of murder, arson and robbery. Valencia was in the car with Torres.
Torres pointed a gun at Sunnyside officers as he ran from the car and they fired back, but he apparently was not hit.
The Washington State Patrol is investigating the shooting. Kennewick police are working with Sunnyside police to try to track down Torres.
He was released from federal prison Feb. 1 and has already had several contacts with law enforcement, Blatman said.
Yakima County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward in connection with his arrest. Anyone with information on his whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers in Yakima at 800-248-9980 or in the Tri-Cities at 800-222-8477.
Blatman said Torres should be considered armed and dangerous, so anyone who sees him should call 911 immediately.
2 arrested in thefts from dead man
Two men were arrested late Tuesday for allegedly stealing items from an east Kennewick home of a man who died two years ago, authorities said.
Benton County sheriff's deputies received several reports during the first two weeks of April about break-ins and theft from a home on East 19th Avenue, said sheriff's Lt. Chuck Jones.
Jones said most of the deceased man's property still was in the house.
The thefts were reported by relatives.
Investigators identified some possible suspects and a Pasco man was arrested at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday by sheriff's deputies working undercover, Jones said.
Clint A. Provau, 39, was a passenger in a car that had been stopped by deputies. The driver, who had a suspended license, eventually was released but a report was forwarded to prosecutors.
After interviewing Provau, investigators went to a home on East 15th Avenue to question Alan W. Schaff, 48, of Kennewick, about the burglaries.
Provau and Schaff later were booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of first-degree theft.
Around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, deputies searched a home at 104 E. 13th Ave. and found most of the property that had been stolen from the home on East 19th Avenue, Jones said.
Among the items recovered were a rototiller, antique wood stove and antique tractor, he said.
Additional property later linked to an unreported burglary in the same area also was recovered. The case remains under investigation.
Man wanted for missed hearings
A 40-year-old Pasco man with more than two dozen aliases is being sought by Kennewick police and Tri-Cites Crime Stoppers for skipping out on his court hearings.
Richard James Rotter is 5-foot-10, 200 pounds with blond hair, blue eyes and tattoos that read "The King" on his upper right arm and "Love" on his lower left arm.
Rotter has been known to use the aliases Timothy R. Cote, Richard Goodman and 26 others, authorities say.
He's charged with failing to appear in court on original charges of possession of oxymorphone, forgery, second-degree escape, possession of heroin and malicious mischief.
Rotter also has three warrants for failing to appear in court on DUI charges.
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 Rotter's whereabouts can call 586-8477 or go to www.tricitiescrimestoppers.org. Tips also can be sent by text message by writing "Text TIP 411" plus the message to CRIMES (274637).
All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org