KENNEWICK — Two 20-year-olds had planned to rob a Kennewick man at his home early Tuesday because "he supposedly has $70,000 in cash," court documents reveal.
Their plan turned deadly when Ramon Madrigal answered the "light tap" at his front door with a loaded gun and started firing as the would-be burglar pushed the door open.
Madrigal told Kennewick investigators in the hours following Tyler Stock's death that after unlocking the dead bolt, he took "retreating steps" when the armed man forced his way inside the home.
"Madrigal stated that when he saw a person step inside his home with his face covered with a bandana and a handgun, he began shooting at the person," Detective Rick Runge wrote in a search warrant, later signed by Judge Robert Swisher. "He explained that he also believed there were one or more people with the person and felt that they may rush him."
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Police found what is believed to be Madrigal's 9mm Glock semiautomatic handgun on the kitchen table. A .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun that reportedly belonged to Stock was found next to his body, which was partially lying in the front door.
When later asked if he recognized anyone from a photo montage that included Stock, an emotional Madrigal "pointed out several who looked familiar (to include Stock) but was not able to specify where he knew them from," Runge wrote.
Prosecutors have not filed any charges in relation to the homicide.
However, Madrigal, 28, was charged Thursday in Benton County Superior Court with possessing marijuana over 40 grams and possessing with intent to manufacture or deliver marijuana. He was released from jail on bond Thursday after his bail was lowered to $15,000, and is scheduled to enter a plea in court Wednesday.
Court documents allege that in the brief time between the shots fired and the first officer's arrival, Madrigal ran out into his backyard and tossed over the fence a backpack that contained a scale and eight individually wrapped bags of marijuana, totaling more than 1 pound.
Armando Martin Rodriguez-Willis, whose nickname is reportedly "Dopey," is being held without bail on suspicion of first-degree burglary.
He was in on the robbery plan and drove Stock to 206 N. Buntin St. "knowing they were going to enter with a firearm," Detective Chris Slocombe wrote in a probable cause request to hold Rodriguez-Willis for 72 hours.
Stock was associated with a street gang, his mother reportedly told police.
An autopsy was performed Tuesday night on Stock. Benton County Coroner John Hansens will only say that he died of a gunshot wound. He is declining to release more information, like where or how many times Stock was hit, at the request of police while the investigation continues.
An inventory log of evidence collected at the Buntin Street home by the Washington State Patrol Crime Scene Response Team shows there were five 9mm shell casings, two fired bullets, four possible bullet fragments and two additional fired bullets removed from the west wall of the home.
According to a number of documents filed in connection to the investigation, Joyeux Stock told police that her son visited her at her nearby workplace between 12:50 and 1:10 a.m. Tuesday. He'd left his cell phone at home and she had offered to give Tyler a ride in the cold weather, but he declined and said he would walk.
Tyler Stock then reportedly stopped by his Bruneau Avenue home, got out of a dark-colored Chevy Malibu and retrieved items from his bedroom before leaving in the same car, documents said.
Just minutes later gunfire was heard blocks away on Buntin.
Investigators later learned the Malibu belonged to Rodriguez-Willis, and that he had been seen in the car with Stock and an unnamed passenger and allegedly heard planning the robbery for the cash.
At 1:21 a.m., dispatch received a 911 call from 206 N. Buntin St. with the woman reporting that "their home was being burglarized when her boyfriend shot the person at their door," according to court documents.
The dispatcher asked for more details, and was told by SensuraePeterson, 26, that after hearing a light knock at the door, Madrigal had asked who was there several times and finally opened it to find a man outside wearing a blue bandana around his face and a cap on his head. Peterson said "that her boyfriend became scared and shot the person," documents said.
Kennewick Officer Mike Rosane was the first on the scene at 1:24 a.m. He found Stock dead on the front step with his legs inside the door.
Madrigal and Peterson came out through the front door with their hands up for police. Officers then went around to the back of the house, where they found another open door, and entered to make sure no one else was inside.
Cpl. Matt Newton told Runge that while checking the home, he saw "a dried green leafy substance" he recognized as pot on a coffee table in the living room and "could smell the distinct smell of burnt marijuana."
At the police station, Madrigal was interviewed by Runge and Detective Wes Gardner. Runge was talking to Madrigal about a collection of pictures that included Stock, but "he repeatedly told me that he was not mentally prepared to see who he had shot. He was visibly emotional."
Madrigal told the detectives that he had been in his bedroom with Peterson when he heard the light tap at the front door and went out to ask who was there. He said that no one visited him that late at night, so he looked through the peephole only to see a person who had their back to the door.
He asked again who it was and twice got the response, "Jason," Runge wrote. A suspicious Madrigal then grabbed his gun and loaded it before unlocking the dead bolt, which made a sound. That's when he claims the intruder pushed the door open and came in, leading Madrigal to begin shooting, court documents said.
Madrigal said he didn't see anyone else outside, but thought someone fled to the south as shots were fired.
Swisher approved the search warrant, which included Madrigal's statements, for the Buntin Street home at 5:19 a.m. It was while Kennewick investigators were awaiting the arrival of the state crime scene team that Officer Jeremy Taylor noticed a backpack on the other side of the fence of Madrigal's backyard. Another officer noticed a red-stained paper towel in a neighboring front yard.
The state and Kennewick investigators started collecting evidence per the search warrant at 8:35 a.m., and during the next eight hours logged more than 60 items. That included ammunition, drug paraphernalia, a digital scale and numerous plastic bags of "green vegetable matter" that were found in a freezer, on a kitchen counter and inside a drawer and in a few locations in the master bedroom, according to the filed search warrant.
After finding the backpack and the pot inside the house, detectives got a supplemental search warrant to look for "evidence of the trading of marijuana." That's when they also collected 10 cell phones, a laptop, video and digital cameras and a thumb drive and flash card.
Madrigal was asked why responding officers found the back door open, and if he "had hidden anything or thrown anything out that he did not want the police to find," a search warrant affidavit said. Madrigal denied doing anything wrong, saying he'd left the door to the backyard open to that his dogs could go outside.
Detectives noted that it was about 24 degrees outside at the time.
Once a witness said the backpack belonged to Madrigal, he reportedly told detectives he dropped it over the fence when he knew the police were coming because it contained pot from prior grows. "Madrigal said that he traded marijuana and has a medical marijuana card that expired last year," the document said.
Madrigal allegedly couldn't provide police with a card or the name of the prescribing doctor, and could only say that the card came from a Seattle company.
* Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org