Crime

Prosser officer was shot and bleeding, but kept pursuing 2 fleeing suspects

Hear Prosser officer pursue suspects after being shot

Audio from Southeast Communications Center (SECOMM), the 9-1-1 dispatcher, and wounded Prosser officer while pursuing two suspects.
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Audio from Southeast Communications Center (SECOMM), the 9-1-1 dispatcher, and wounded Prosser officer while pursuing two suspects.

A Prosser police officer shot in the leg quickly applied his own tourniquet Monday while trying to pursue two fleeing suspects.

Law enforcement from throughout the Mid-Columbia were rushing to the Prosser apartment complex as Officer Antonio Bustamante told emergency dispatchers that he “took one round, I believe, to the right thigh,” but was still able to walk.

Bustamante initially joined in the search for the black-clad, would-be robbers before going to the hospital.

He was recuperating at home 14 hours later when his local, state and federal colleagues tracked down the first suspect in Kennewick.

That was shortly followed by the capture of a second teen who allegedly fled across the Cascades to Centralia.

Isaiah M. Colley initially was held in the Lewis County jail, then moved back across the state to the jail in Kennewick.

On Friday afternoon, the 19-year-old appeared in Benton County Superior Court on one count of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon for wounding another man during a foiled robbery at the apartment complex.

Isaiah Colley Court
Prosser shooting suspect Isaiah M. Colley, 19, talks with his provisional defense attorney Michael Vander Sys before the start of a hearing Friday in Benton County Superior Court in Kennewick. Colley is one two men accused in the shooting incident early Monday morning at a Prosser apartment complex. Watch a video: tricityherald.com/video Bob Brawdy Tri-City Herald

He has a Sept. 16 trial date.

Co-defendant Abdiel B. Vargas, also 19, had a hearing earlier this week. He faces the same charge after a 35-year-old man was shot through his apartment window.

Neither Vargas or Colley has been charged with shooting Officer Bustamante.

Vargas.jpg
Abdiel B. Vargas, 19, appeared in Benton Superior Court in Kennewick on Tuesday. His bail is set at $500,00 in connection to a double shooting at the Canyon Park Apartments in Prosser. Noelle Haro-Gomez Tri-City Herald

Prosser double shooting

The first call to 911 came in just after 1 a.m. Monday when a 23-year-old woman reported two men knocking on her front door and jiggling the door handle at the Canyon Park Apartments.

Her 24-year-old boyfriend looked through the door’s peep hole and recognized the two as Colley and Vargas, according to court documents.

He told police he refused to open the door because hours earlier he had been told the teens were planning to rob him, documents said.

Next door, a neighbor woke up when he heard someone also knock on his window. He told investigators he was headed toward the window when shots were suddenly fired and he realized he’d been hit.

The neighbor, wounded in the upper arm, ran to another apartment for help until paramedics arrived. That man also was treated at the local hospital and later released.

Shots fired at officer

Bustamante said he was pulling into the complex when he saw someone running. He hopped out of his patrol car and ran after the suspect, who suddenly turned and shot at him, according to police and court documents.

“Officer Bustamante was able to return fire, but it is not known if any of his rounds struck the individual,” Lt. Jason Erickson with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Bustamante said he thought the suspect fired 10 to 20 rounds at him, documents said.

A Prosser police officer was shot in the leg early Monday during a foot chase with a possible burglary suspect at the Canyon Park Apartments. The investigation revealed an apartment tenant also was shot several times by a suspect.

It’s not clear if both suspects fired a gun, but court documents suggest Colley might have been the one to shoot the neighbor.

Investigators found multiple .22-caliber shell casings outside the apartment window where the neighbor was shot. More were found in the parking lot where Bustamante was hit and on the opposite side of the parking area.

Many 9mm casings, believed to be from Officer Bustamante’s gun, were found in the carport area where Bustamante crouched after shooting toward the suspects, documents said.

Colley and Vargas both are being held on $500,000 bail for the assault.

Colley also has an active 2017 juvenile case for voyeurism and distributing intimate images, and a recent Superior Court case with two counts of bail jumping.

Kristin M. Kraemer covers the judicial system and crime issues for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years in Washington and California.
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