His friend shot him. Pasco police say it was because he tried to leave their gang

A Pasco man who was shot by a friend Thursday was trying to leave their gang.

Victor Manuel Garcia, 23, is recovering in a Richland hospital after being wounded in the back and stomach, said investigators.

His girlfriend told police he was leaving the Mexican Pride Sureños, but she didn’t think it was strange when she saw him talking with Daniel D. Canela, 23, outside her apartment complex.

They were longtime friends, she told police.

Court documents said one witness heard Canela ask Garcia if he was “X-ed out,” meaning he was no longer a member of the gang.

Canela reportedly pulled out a small handgun and fired at Garcia just before 3:45 p.m.

One witness said he heard popping sounds and realized he and another adult and some children were in the line of fire at the complex on the 800 block of West Ruby Street.

The witness said that as Garcia was “fleeing for his life, he fell to the ground and placed his hands on his stomach,” said the affidavit from Pasco Detective Tony Aceves.

“... Even though Canela shot the victim, Canela continued to shoot at the defenseless, unarmed victim,” Aceves said the witness told investigators.

Pasco shooting
Pasco investigators work the scene of what they believe is a gang-related shooting at an apartment building parking lot on the 800 block of Seventh Avenue and West Ruby Street. File Tri-City Herald

Garcia’s girlfriend told police she heard Canela’s gun “clicking as he continued pulling the trigger as he pointed the now empty gun at the victim.”

She claimed Canela was smiling.

A witness’ video shows her screaming as she cradles Garcia, while others try to help.

On Friday, Canela appeared briefly in Franklin County Superior Court.

He is being held on $750,000 bail while prosecutors decide whether to charge him with attempted first-degree murder and illegal gun possession.

Deputy Prosecutor David Corkrum said Canela is a convicted felon, including previous gun and burglary convictions.

Police say after he shot Garcia he ran to the Courtyard Apartments on the 1700 block of North Fifth Avenue.

Officers who searched an apartment where he went and found three revolvers and a pistol. One revolver was hidden inside a toilet tank, and four .22-caliber rounds were hidden under a couch cushion.

Medics rushed Garcia to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, where he’s recovering, police said.

Cameron Probert: 509-582-1402, @cameroncprobert