Special Reports

The victims

Victims of the Pasco body shop slayings:


Shooting victim Misael Barajas 22, was a "good kid." said his older brother.

Manuel Barajas was watching television in a cell In the Franklin County Jail when he heard of the slayings at the auto shop.

"It was a shock to him .... he knew his brother worked there," said Robert Rotter, a friend of Barajas. who interpreted for him from his jaill cell Wednesday.

"He caused no problems. He was a good citizen," said Barajas about his brother.

It was not until Wednesday morning that Barajas learned definitley of his brother's death, Rotter said. Misael was found alive at the shooting scene, but died in the emergency room at Our LAdy of Lourdes Health Center.

Misael, 21, was not married and had lived In Pasco for about three months. He was from Mexico, said some of the wives of the other victims.

Court officials have refused to release Manuel Barajas from jail to be wtih family members or to view his brother's body.

He is being held on $1,000 bail for possession of cocaine charges.


The yellowing curtains were tightly drawn and the porch light was still on at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the tiny Kennewick apartment of Fransisco Venegas Cortez, 21.

Cortez and his wife, Josephine, had lived there four months.

"They were a very nice, young loving couple, " said apartment manager Anna Curtiss. They acted like newlyweds and often played in the swimming pool, she said. "You didn't even know they were here .... They didn't bother anybody."

The couple apparently was planning a trip to Mexico to visit Francisco's mother, whom his bride had never met.

Tuesday night, Josephine Cortez came to Curtiss about 10:30 p.m. for a key to the apartment. The distraught 20-year-old, who speaks little English, believed her husband may have been one of those killed in the Pasco shooting.

She said he had gone to the body shop about 6 p.m. to see about buying a car and didn't retum.

The couple apparently had no children or family in the Tri-Cities.

Curtiss said she did not know what type of work the couple did.


Juan AntonIo Lopez-Garcia was the least known of Tuesday's shooting victims.

Garcia, who was in his 20s, was not married, according to Sally Munos Lamas, the wife of Eliceo Guzman Lamas, who also was killed.

"He was really nice," she said.

"He could be mean if he wanted to be, but he was OK. "

"He was always poor," Lamas recalled. "He would always come over asking to borrow $3."

She laughed, saying he always wanted the money to buy gas for his car to drive around town.

Lamas said she did not know if he had any family in the Tri-Cities.

Pasco police had no address for Garcia.


Rafael Parra Magallon was having problems with his car this week.

So, after the 22-year-old dropped his sister, Emelia, off at a Pasco church Tuesday for her English lessons, he went to Medina'a Auto Shop.

"He was supposed to go pick her up, but never did," said Magallon's cousin, Xavier Ursua, of Pasco.

Ursua and his brother, Mike, last saw their cousin about noon Tuesday, when the three finnished picking apples in orchards at White Bluffs, north of Pasco. Magallon, who was not married and lived with his sister, had moved from Mexico two years ago to work in Pasco.

"He was working hard, because he wanted to visit his parents (in Mexico)," said Xavier Ursua, whose family has lived in Pasco since 1981.

Magallon's tearful aunt, Josefa and a second sister, Amalia, stood sobbing in the doorway of Ursua's home, looking at a Magallon's photo.

Family members found out about the death about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. But they had suspected the worst when they say Magallon's car still parked at Medina's shop after the shooting.


On Nov. 18, Eliceo Guzman Lamas would have celebrated his first wedding anniversary with hia 16-year-old bride, Sally Munos.

The couple met through Munos' cousin, after the 20-year-old Lamas moved to Pasco from Mexico.

Sally Lamas, a Pasco native, last saw her husband Tuesday night after they had gone out to eat at the Copper Kettle in Pasco. "We came home and then he went to work on a car," she said.

He earned most of their income repairing cars or preparing vehhicles for painting, she said.

The couple had no children and lived with three other people in a house at 520 S. Elm Street, Pasco. One of the three was Jesse Salas Rocio, the only survivor of the body-shop shooting.

Lamas said her husband wanted to become an American citizen and setttle in the Tri-Cities.