PASCO — A search for a Pasco man wanted into connection with a gang-related fight last weekend prompted Pasco police to block part of a busy street and call out the Tri-City Regional SWAT team.
Pasco police had gone to an apartment complex at 727 W. Court St. about 2 p.m. to look for a 19-year-old man who lived there, said Capt. Jim Raymond.
Miguel Paniagua was wanted on an outstanding warrant for being a felon in possession of a gun, Raymond said. He also is being sought for second-degree assault in connection with a gang clash Sunday at the Pasco Flea Market that left a 14-year-old boy with head injuries.
A 17-year-old boy also was shot in the chest at the flea market.
Officers suspect Paniagua ran Thursday from the apartment complex as they were arriving.
They quickly surrounded the area to search for Paniagua but, as of Thursday evening, he had not been found. He is 5-foot-3 and weighs about 140 pounds. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call police.
Pasco High and Captain Gray Early Learning Center were locked down for about 20 minutes Thursday afternoon during the search, and Court Street, between Fifth and Eighth avenues, was blocked for about 90 minutes while SWAT members checked the apartment.
Officers had a warrant to search the apartment, but not everyone inside willingly left the unit immediately.
"It was crazy. I've never seen it before," said Ryan Prentice, who watched the police action with her 3-year-old son Neimiah.
She said she saw four men get handcuffed after they left the apartment and officers carried three or four children out of an upstairs unit.
The SWAT team used a loud speaker to order the occupants to come outside, drawing the attention of lots of bystanders who gathered across the street near the Benton Franklin Community Action Center.
"We know you're in there. Come out with your hands up," they yelled to one man. "At this point nothing will happen. I can assure your safety if you come out now. ... You're surrounded by SWAT."
After repeating the commands, a man appeared in the front window of a second-floor apartment with his hands up. SWAT members ordered him to slowly walk down the stairs and walk backward toward them.
Two women -- one who is pregnant -- then followed the same orders and left the apartment. The pregnant woman was visibly shaken by the incident and was walked to an ambulance to be checked.
In all, seven men were detained from the apartment, Raymond said.