Special Reports

Suspect returned to home, says manager

The manager of the apartment complex where the two shooting suspects may have gone after the auto body shop shootings says police may have missed their chance at capturing the pair.

David Gamino, manager of the apartments at 1530 N. 9th Ave., Pasco, said he beard people talking in an apartment rented to shooting suspect Vincente Mendez Ruiz, 19, and his brother, Ramundo.

Ruiz's late model blue Mazda RX7 had been seen parked outside at 11 p.m., about four hours after the shooting.

Gamino said he saw lights being turned on and off inside the apartment, which the two brothers bad been moving into for the put two weeks.

They were moving from a basement apartment on the other side of the building said Gamino, who described Ruiz as "really mellow" with a "nice personality."

Ruiz was a fieldworker who picked asparagus and apples, said Gamino. He said Ruiz had recently told him that he had his 1983 Riviera repainted at an A Street auto shop.

The pungent odor of tear gas still clung in the matted carpeting of the apartments on Wednesday as Gamino inspected.

Several cases of crushed beer cans and empty beer bottles littered the carpet of one of the apartments, said Gamino.

SWAT team members stormed the apartment about 6 a.m. Wednesday after staking out the building for about two hours, said Pasco police Sgt. Terry Trulson.

But Gamino said he believed the men left shortly after 3 a.m., when he believed he saw someone from one of the two apartments put something in a dumpster.

Det. Henry Montelongo said Wednesday he did not believe anyone was in the apartment from the time police first arrived and began watching the building.