A Kennewick man is suspected of opening fire on an apartment complex in broad daylight Tuesday afternoon during a drive-by shooting.
Daniel Lewis Vargas, 28, was arrested shortly after the shooting and booked into the Benton County jail. He is being held as the investigation continues.
Witnesses saw a white Lexus pull up to the apartments at 632 N. Arthur Street around 1:50 p.m., said Sgt. Ken Lattin of the Kennewick Police Department. A man inside the car was seen firing multiple shots at the apartments.
Police believe six shots were fired into apartment D105, with some bullets traveling into the walls of a nearby apartment, Lattin said.
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No one was in the apartment that was targeted and no injuries were reported.
The apartments are close to Kamiakin High School, which was locked down briefly after people heard the shots. Witnesses were able to get the license plate number of the Lexus and officers spotted it a short time later unoccupied outside a Pasco house, Lattin said. Officers from across the Tri-Cities surrounded the house on the 600 block of North Sycamore Street.
Lewis was arrested at the house and taken to the Kennewick police station for questioning, Lattin said.
However, a group of young men refused to come out of the house. Officers blocked off Sycamore Street, loading up high-powered rifles as they inched closer behind the protection of SUVs.
Nearby, Whittier Elementary School was just letting out as police began to gather and students, parents and crossing guards filled the streets.
Students were ushered home by school staff and some were forced to gather on a corner as they waited for North Sycamore to open up so they could go home.
About an hour after surrounding the house, officers entered and removed at least four men, who were detained for questioning.
Lewis was the only suspect booked for the drive-by shooting and police aren’t looking for any other suspects at this time, Lattin said.
Lattin credited citizens’ tips and the coordination of Tri-City law enforcement agencies with Lewis’ arrest, he said. The cooperative effort meant they did not have to call out the Tri-Cities Regional SWAT team.
“When Tri-City law enforcement works together like this, it really makes a difference,” he said.