Several people witnessed a shooting suspect fire multiple shots into a Tri-City man during an argument outside a Kennewick tavern last week, according to court documents.
The victim, Anthony L. Asselin, and the shooter, Tyree Q. Houfmuse, were at the Village Tavern the night before Thanksgiving when a “beef” started inside the bar, court documents said.
Houfmuse apparently showed up at the bar with Aquarius Gibbs, who is Asselin’s ex-girlfriend and mother to one of his children.
A witness told authorities that there was friction between the two men because “Asselin thinks that (Houfmuse) furnishes drugs to Ms. Gibbs, which affects her parenting,” court documents said.
The men started to argue in the bar and eventually stepped outside, court documents said. Witnesses say there was no physical fight before Houfmuse allegedly fired the shots.
Asselin, 29, still has a bullet lodged in his spine and is now paralyzed from the chest down, his family said. The father of four is expected to survive but remains in intensive care at a hospital.
Gibbs, who drove Houfmuse from the bar to Hermiston, told authorities her boyfriend said he was “sorry for the shooting,” court documents said.
Houfmuse, 32, was arrested by federal marshals five days later at a Hermiston apartment complex. He is charged with first-degree assault with a felony firearm enhancement and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
If Houfmuse is convicted of the assault charge, the gun enhancement would add a mandatory five years to his sentence.
It appears Houfmuse was back in Washington on Wednesday in Walla Walla County awaiting transfer to the Benton County jail.
Meanwhile, Asselin is slowly progressing and able to communicate with family, said his mother, Tammy Gill. She told the Herald her son is aware there is a chance he may never walk again.
“It takes a while to absorb something like that. My son has such a wonderful spirit that cannot be broken,” she said. “It’s up and down, but for the most part his spirits are very high.”
Family and friends have rallied around Asselin as he begins his long road to recovery, Gill said. Asselin likes rap — he goes by “Redd100” — and was scheduled to perform days after he was shot.
Friends went through with the show even though Asselin couldn’t make it and raised money in his honor, Gill said. Other fundraising events have been put together all over the Tri-Cities.
Absolute Northwest Screen Printing in Richland is making T-shirts and sweatshirts that bear Asselin’s rap name. The clothing goes on sale Dec. 4, with shirts starting at $15 and sweatshirts at $35. Call or text Johnny at 509-781-2875 to place an order.
Texas Roadhouse in Kennewick has plans to throw Asselin a benefit lunch on Dec. 18, Gill said. People can enjoy a pulled pork sandwich, two sides and a non-alcoholic drink for $15. There are 100 tickets available, with all proceeds to go Asselin’s recovery. To buy tickets, which go on sale Thursday, contact Texas Roadhouse at 509-783-1288 or Michael Asselin at 509-491-8872.
A HAPO account has also been set up in Anthony Asselin’s name. Donations can be made at any HAPO branch.
Gill told the Herald the money will be used to cover her son’s medical costs.
“At this point we are looking at a lifetime of expenses for Anthony once he leaves the hospital,” she said. “Those expenses are not going to stop for him. Nobody expects something like this to happen. We really appreciate the support of the community.”