Dispute over rap led to Pasco shooting

PASCO — A Pasco man pleaded innocent Tuesday to allegations he shot a woman in the head during a dispute between rival gangs over loud rap music.

Victor Alfonso Paniagua, 19, faces trial Sept. 15 in Franklin County Superior Court on one count of first-degree assault.

He is being held in jail on $500,000 bail for the June 25 incident.

According to court documents, Paniagua and an unidentified man were standing on East Adelia Street between Wehe and Beech avenues when a car passed with gangster rap music blaring from its sound system. The men shouted for the three female occupants -- all of whom reportedly associate with another criminal street gang -- to turn off the music, but were ignored, documents said.

That is when Paniagua allegedly pulled out a gun and fired about five rounds at the women in the car.

Guadalupe Sanchez, a passenger, was hit once in the back of the head. The 19-year-old Kennewick woman required surgery to remove the bullet.

The suspects then ran from the scene.

Pasco police investigating the 9:46 p.m. shooting interviewed multiple witnesses, who described the shooter as wearing a white T-shirt and tan Dickies short or pants.

Officer Chad Pettijohn later spoke with another Pasco man who said two men had stopped by his house and claimed to have shot at people just moments before, court documents said. The man said he had known one of them for some time, but could only identify him as "Victor," documents said.

The man pointed on a Google map to Paniagua's neighborhood -- which the officer confirmed was near the suspect's 22nd Avenue home -- and picked Paniagua from a photo lineup, according to court documents. The witness told officers that the pair had "bragged about being involved in a shooting at a car," and gave clothing descriptions of the men that matched eyewitnesses from the scene, documents said.

The man "reported the males knew the police were looking for them and they hid in his house for over an hour before sneaking out," Pettijohn wrote.

During a search of Paniagua's home on July 1, officers found writings for Paniagua's reported gang and derogatory statements about the rival gang with whom the targeted women associate, court documents said.

Paniagua was arrested and, after being read his rights, told investigators he'd been in the neighborhood at the time of the shooting and saw a lot of police, documents said.

Paniagua admitted knowledge of the shooting through media reports, however Pasco police never issued a news release on the incident to Tri-City media, Pettijohn wrote.

Trial set for Pasco man accused of sexually abusing kids

PASCO — A 36-year-old man faces trial Oct. 6 on allegations he sexually assaulted two young children.

Guadalupe Torres Jr. of Pasco pleaded innocent to one count each of first- and second-degree child molestation.

Prosecutors allege that in the summer of 2008, Torres inappropriately rubbed his hands over a pre-teen girl.

The charges also include having sexual contact with a young child in spring 2009, court documents said.

* Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com