Crime

2 Pasco men held in connection with unrelated shootings

Two Pasco men are being held in the Franklin County jail in connection with two unrelated shootings in Pasco this week, including the wounding of the mother of two suspected gang members.

Bail was set at $200,000 for Manuel Ramirez-Salazar, 23, of Pasco, who made a preliminary appearance Wednesday in Franklin County Superior Court.

Ramirez-Salazar was arrested by Pasco police Monday night after being involved in a gang shooting at a Pasco motel that injured a woman's face and jaw.

Ramirez-Salazar, who is being held on investigating of drive-by shooting, is not the suspected shooter, court documents said.

Pasco police Capt. Jim Raymond said officers believe they know who shot her and are searching for him. The suspect's name is not being released yet.

Officers also still are looking for a second person involved in a gang-related shooting Tuesday afternoon near Seventh Avenue and B Street. The suspect is a teenager, Raymond said.

Ramiro Farias Gallegos, 18, of Pasco, made his first appearance in court Wednesday, where Judge Robert Swisher ordered him held on $100,00 bail.

"This does involve an assault with a firearm with gang overtones to it," said Deputy Prosecutor Frank Jenny.

Gallegos and the teen have gang affiliations, Raymond said. They are accused of shooting at a car after the 19-year-old driver yelled at them.

The driver, Jose Angel Franco, told police that he was stopped on Seventh Avenue and was about to move forward when two teens ran in front of his car, documents said.

Franco said he yelled, "Dude, watch where you're going," and then one of the suspects said, "What's up homie, this is my hood," documents said.

One teen reportedly told Franco, who is not a gang member, he was lucky he didn't shoot him, but there were witnesses nearby.

The teen then lifted his shirt, grabbed a gun from his waistband and said, "We'll catch you at night, this is my hood," documents said.

Franco said he drove away, crossing B Street, and that is when he heard three shots and saw the two teens in his rear-view mirror. One round hit the driver's side fender.

Gallegos was found by police hiding under a vehicle in the 1000 block of South Fifth Avenue, documents said. The other teen has not been found.

Gallegos is being held on investigation of first-degree assault. Prosecutors have until Friday to charge or release him.

In Monday night's unrelated shooting, Ramirez-Salazar is accused of being with a group of gang members who rented a room at the motel in the 1500 block of Oregon Avenue.

The victim, Paula Villarreal, suffered injuries to her face and jaw when several shots were fired at a car she was sitting in, documents said.

Her injuries are nonlife-threatening, Raymond said, noting that she was talking to officers before being taken to the hospital.

Villarreal's two children, Debbie Anne, 20, and Jose, 23, who also were in the car at the time are said to be documented gang members, court documents said.

Debbie Anne Villarreal and Jose Villarreal were arrested by Pasco police in May in connection with a large gang fight on Court Street.

Ramirez-Salazar was said to be with a group of rival gang members who were staying at the motel and who shot at the car with a pistol, documents said.

Pasco officers reviewed security videos from the motel and saw Ramirez-Salazar standing next to the shooter, documents said.

He also drove the black Mercedes that was parked near Villarreal's car and moved to another part of the parking lot shortly after the shooting, documents said.

Several other gang members at the motel were interviewed by officers, but they all denied knowing anything about what happened, documents said.

Prosecutors have until today to charge Ramirez-Salazar or release him.

Ramirez-Salazar was ordered not to contact Villarreal or her children.

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