Crime

Pasco shooting suspect still on the run

Three months after a Pasco woman was shot in the face in a gang-related attack at a Pasco motel, the suspect still is on the lam.

Ramon Morfin Jr., 22, is wanted on suspicion of two counts of first-degree assault with a gun for the Aug. 29 shooting at the Motel 6, 1520 N. Oregon Ave.

Two other men suspected of being with Morfin -- Manuel Ramirez-Salazar and Juan Pablo Infante-Martinez -- have been charged in Franklin County Superior Court with rendering criminal assistance.

Both Pasco men have pleaded innocent to the charge. Ramirez-Salazar, 24, is set for trial Jan. 3, while Infante-Martinez, 25, has his trial scheduled for Jan. 25.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Morfin, who is accused of shooting Paula Villarreal, 36, after firing several shots at a car she was in, court documents said. Villarreal's daughter, Debbie Anne, was near the car. She was not hit.

Debbie Villarreal, 20, and her brother, Jose Villarreal, are said to be documented gang members, documents said.

The shooting happened just before 10 p.m., after Paula Villarreal had apparently checked into the motel with her daughter, son and her son's girlfriend.

Debbie Villarreal reportedly moved the car from in front of the motel to a parking spot just outside the east entrance, documents said.

Morfin, Infante-Martinez and Ramirez-Salazar reportedly were with gang members in the picnic area in the northeast corner of the parking lot, and when they saw the car belonged to a rival gang member they yelled at them, documents said.

The group allegedly then gathered around a Mercedes Benz belonging to another documented gang member as Morfin pulled out a .45-caliber pistol and leaned on the car to steady his shot.

As Infante-Martinez, Ramirez-Salazar and others yelled insults in the direction of the car, Morfin fired eight times, hitting Paula Villarreal in the face and jaw, documents said. Her injuries were not life-threatening.

Debbie Villarreal, who had been out of the car in the area where the bullets hit, got back in and drove away, documents said.

Morfin then walked toward a room and out of the view of the security cameras, documents said. Ramirez-Salazar then went to the passenger side of the car, picked something up and walked toward the motel, documents said.

He then ran back to the Mercedes and moved the car to the south parking lot, documents said. Ramirez-Salazar left the area, but was later caught in the city cemetery.

While Pasco officers were at the motel investigating the shooting, Infante-Martinez returned, but he told officers he had not been there at the time of the shooting, documents said.

Surveillance video, however, later confirmed he was standing next to Morfin when Morfin fired the gun, documents said.

Infante-Martinez allegedly called Pasco detectives the next day and again said he was not at the motel at the time of the shooting, but then tried to say the shooter was his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend, documents said.

Investigators, however, had already identified Morfin as the suspected shooter, documents said.

After being read his rights, Infante-Martinez allegedly told police he had been at the motel and misled police during the investigation, but he would not identify anyone at the scene, documents said.

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