Ortiz charge upped to first-degree murder

Print Article

Ortiz

MOSES LAKE — A Moses Lake man who is accused of shooting and killing a bystander outside of a Moses Lake bar in June is now facing a first-degree murder charge.

Grant County prosecutors amended the charges against Ismael Ortiz Jr., 25, of Moses Lake, in connection with the shooting death of Robert Cook, 68, of Moses Lake, on June 5. Ortiz is now charged with first-degree murder and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. The defendant was previously charged with second-degree murder and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. Ortiz has prior convictions of first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and second-degree manslaughter.

Just after midnight on June 5 Ortiz’s co-defendant, Jose Rodriguez, 25, of Moses Lake, who is currently charged with tampering with a witness in connection with the incident, allegedly got into a fight with Loren Meade, 30, of Moses Lake, inside Neppel’s Dockside Pub in Moses Lake. Ortiz got involved in the fray and punched Meade, which led to all three men getting tossed from the bar.

After the fight and during the time period Ortiz, Rodriguez and Meade were being thrown out of the pub, Cook and his female friend decided to leave Neppel’s and got into Cook’s pickup truck, which was parked to the west of the bar’s entrance. Cook’s friend told police she heard five loud “pops” come behind the truck, which she initially thought were fireworks.

She said she turned around to see who was lighting off the fireworks and saw a four-door passenger vehicle pull up alongside Cook’s truck and pass them, with Meade allegedly riding in the passenger seat. She claimed Meade pulled out a “large black handgun” and pointed it in the direction of the Ash Street/West Broadway Avenue intersection.

At that same time, Cook was fatally struck in the back of the head by a bullet. A witness reported seeing a large-framed Hispanic man, alleged to be Ortiz, fire numerous shots in the direction of Cook’s truck while standing in the Ash Street/Broadway Avenue intersection. Ortiz and Rodriguez fled the scene on foot and started heading toward the Alder Street fill. Two men who were fishing on the west side of the fill reported hearing the gunfire and seeing two people run from where the shots were fired and go across the grass toward the water near the fill.

One of the two subjects allegedly hopped into the lake, but got back out and moved toward a dock near Neppel Park. Ortiz and Rodriguez allegedly approached the men and told them they needed their fishing poles. The suspects allegedly asked the fishermen to tell police they had been fishing with them for the past couple of hours.

Police eventually tracked down Ortiz and Rodriguez and took them into custody. Numerous people who were at the bar confirmed that Ortiz and Rodriguez had been in a fight before the shooting. The description of the clothes the shooter was wearing allegedly matched what Ortiz was wearing when police found him. Meade was later taken into custody in Moses Lake on June 13.

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

Print Article

Read More Crime & Fire

Warden teen dies in collision near Othello

May 26, 2017 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald OTHELLO — A teenager from Warden died in a two-vehicle collision near Othello on Wednesday. About 3:20 p.m. Andrew Huber, 17, of Warden was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt south on Booker Road, abou...

Comments

Read More

3 dead, 9 injured in collision near George

May 26, 2017 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald GEORGE — Three people died and nine others were injured in a two-vehicle collision near George early Thursday morning. About 4:30 a.m. a SUV collided with a full-size passenger van at the intersecti...

Comments

Read More

More charges filed against Moses Lake rape suspect

May 23, 2017 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE — A Moses Lake man who allegedly raped and assaulted a woman several times in 2015 is facing additional charges. Grant County prosecutors previously charged Michael S. Padgett, of Moses L...

Comments

Read More

‘Click it or Ticket’ emphasis underway in Grant, Adams counties

May 23, 2017 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald GRANT AND ADAMS COUNTIES — Local law enforcement agencies are joining with agencies across the country in conducting extra seat belt patrols. The campaign started yesterday and is scheduled ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2017 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X