A 34-year-old man claims he shot at a van in Prosser because he wanted the driver to stop and fight him.
Oscar Martinez told Benton County sheriff’s deputies that he was aiming for the van’s tires in the Dec. 22 shooting.
The driver, Luis Lopez Ramirez, was not hurt. However, one of the bullets hit his van, traveled through the third row of seats and lodged in a spare tire.
Martinez is charged in Benton County Superior Court with drive-by shooting.
He pleaded innocent and his trial is set for Feb. 26.
Martinez and Lopez Ramirez reportedly used to work together and had a disagreement several years ago over the sale of a vehicle.
Lopez Ramirez was at a Prosser gas station Dec. 22 when an Acura pulled up next to him. He didn’t know the driver, but recognized Martinez in the front passenger seat, court documents said.
Martinez indicated he wanted to fight, but Lopez Ramirez decided to leave to avoid a confrontation, according to documents.
The Acura followed the van.
Lopez Ramirez said he was driving through a Prosser intersection when he heard shots being fired at his van. The gunshots came from the passenger side of the Acura, court documents said.
Investigators tried to find Martinez, including doing surveillance at his home. It was early Sunday when deputies saw a vehicle pull into the driveway and a man matching Martinez’s description get out, documents said.
Deputies yelled at Martinez, who ran. He allegedly was found under a car a short time later.
Martinez initially claimed that the Acura’s driver was the shooter, court documents said.
After he was booked into the Benton County jail, Martinez reached out to detectives and asked to speak to them again.
In a follow-up interview Wednesday, Martinez admitted being the shooter but said the driver gave him the gun, documents said.
His bail is set at $40,000.