Trooper shooting suspects arrested in Adams County

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Washington State Patrol/courtesy photo Two men who are suspected of opening fire at a trooper, and damaging the trooper’s in-car computer in the process, were arrested in Adams County on Thursday.

ADAMS COUNTY — Two men who are suspected of opening fire at a Washington State Patrol trooper in Grandview were arrested in Adams County last week.

Arrested in Adams County on Thursday was Manuel J. Aviles, 18, of Mabton, and Felipe Cortes-Barajas, 39, of Grandview. The two suspects have been booked into the Yakima County Jail for first-degree assault, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a controlled substance.

About 9 p.m. Oct. 23 a trooper attempted to pull over a speeding vehicle at state Route 241, near Alexander Road. The trooper chased the vehicle for about six minutes, with speeds reaching over 100 mph, according to patrol. The vehicle reportedly pulled into a residence along Forsell Road, in Grandview, and came to a stop. Aviles and Cortes-Barajas reportedly got out of their vehicle and “engaged the trooper with unknown type weapons,” according to information provided by the State Patrol.

Multiple shots were fired by the suspects, which reportedly hit the front end and windshield of the trooper’s patrol car. The trooper’s in-car computer was reportedly damaged, but Trooper Nate Dawson was not injured.

A police K-9 was used to track the two suspects, which led police to a large shop near the property. A response team was mobilized and a remote-controlled robot was used to search the shop, but the suspects were not found. Aviles and Cortes-Barajas reportedly fled the area on foot and were on the run until they were arrested.

“The WSP would like to thank the partnering law enforcement agencies who assisted in this investigation,” the patrol stated in a release.

Per WSP policy, Dawson was placed on home assignment during the investigation into the shooting.

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

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