Friends say a Pasco man was in the “wrong place at the wrong time” when he was gunned down Wednesday night by two armed suspects who opened fire on a parked car in which he was sitting with friends.
Anthony Guerrero, 20, was a family man who was thoughtful and enjoyed making people laugh, friends said. Some of those closest to him say he stayed away from gangs and tried his hardest to avoid violence.
The former Pasco High School student died early Thursday. His fiancee, Drea Rose, described the man she planned to marry as the most “amazing and caring” person she had ever met.
“He’s never been in a gang or gang-affiliated. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said. “That’s where everyone hangs out. That wasn’t something that was supposed to happen.”
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The shooting that took Guerrero’s life was part of a rash of recent gun violence in the Pasco area that police say is most likely sparked by gang tensions.
The three shootings — all within a 24-hour span in two separate sections of Pasco— have left Guerrero dead and five others injured.
The violence started close to midnight Tuesday as four men returned to a house on the 800 block of West Margaret Street, police said. They were ambushed by two armed men who fired close to 20 rounds from handguns into a car.
Three men were shot and are recovering from what police are calling non-life threatening injuries. The suspects ran off before police arrived on scene.
Investigators want to question DeShawn Anderson, 18, in connection with the shooting, police said. The teen — who has outstanding felony warrants in Benton and Franklin counties — was named as a person of interest Thursday.
The second shooting took place about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday as Guerrero and two others sat in a car about three blocks away on the 800 block of West Marie Street, police said. Two men armed with handguns opened fire on the group on the dark street, hitting Guerrero and his friends multiple times.
One person was critically injured and was transported to a hospital out of the area, said Pasco Capt. Jim Raymond. Another suffered non-life threatening wounds and is recovering.
The suspects — who fired an “extensive” number of shots into the car — fled on foot and have not been identified, Raymond said. Police have little to go on other than they appeared to be males.
As police were on West Marie Street, witnesses on the 400 block of North Cedar Avenue reported shots fired into a house, Raymond said. Police arrived and found bullet holes in the house and multiple shell casings in the street.
No one was apparently home at the time of the drive-by shooting and no injuries were reported.
Raymond told the Herald some of the shooting victims have ties to gangs and have been “less than cooperative” with investigators. Anyone with information is asked to call Pasco police at 509-545-3510.
“This is the highest priority for the department,” he said. “We have all of our detectives and available officers working to get this solved.”
Tri-City authorities descended on an East Fifth Avenue house in Kennewick on Thursday afternoon after receiving a tip Anderson was there, said Kennewick Sgt. Randy Maynard. However, Anderson was gone by the time they got there.
Police had to evacuate several elderly patients who were being cared for in the upstairs part of the house. At least three men were detained and questioned by officers.
“We are turning over stones looking for (Anderson),” Raymond said.
While police continued to investigate the shootings, friends and family of Guerrero mourned his unexpected death.
Guerrero was born and raised in Pasco and is survived by family members in the Tri-Cities.
“(We) are just trying to keep it together,” said Julieta Guerrero, his sister.
Rose told the Herald many of Guerrero’s friends are having trouble coming to terms with his death.
“It’s just horrible. It has been hard on everyone,” she said, her voice cracking. “You should have seen the hospital room. There was over 50 people there. It was overwhelming.”
Friends have set up an online GoFundMe account to try and raise $2,000 for Guerrero’s funeral. To donate please visit bit.ly/1x7uSMl