Two men have been arrested and indicted following an investigation into a drive-by shooting on May 10th in Milton-Freewater. Police Chief Doug Boedigheimer said that a Umatilla County Grand Jury brought the two secret indictments yesterday when it convened in Pendleton, Oregon.
Francisco Javier Palacios-Garcia, 23-years-old of Milton-Freewater was indicted for attempted murder, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and eight counts of recklessly endangering another person. Clemente Garcia-Cerda, 21-years-old of Walla Walla was indicted for attempted murder, felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and eight counts of recklessly endangering another person.
Police say that around midnight on Mary 10th, Palacios-Garcia and Garcia-Cerda were in a car that drove by a residence on the 900 block of North Main in Milton-Freewater. The two accused of firing several shots from two different handguns at an individual and into the home as it was occupied. Police say the intended victim was Eric Rodriguez, 21-year-old of Milton-Freewater, who was mere feet away from the vehicle. Surprisingly, Rodriguez and other adults and children in the home were not hit, although police say bullets did penetrate the home.
“Because of valuable and accurate eyewitness descriptions of what was though to be the involved vehicle, we relayed the vehicle description to the Walla Walla Police Department, who later that morning stopped the vehicle for an equipment violation,” Chief Boedigheimer said. “The investigation determined that this was a gang related shooting incident.”
Both suspects were taken into custody on Washington charges and lodged in the Walla Walla County Jail awaiting extradition to Oregon to face the recent charges. Officials are pursing “Measure 11” merits on the attempted murder charges, which carry a mandatory minimum sentence upon conviction.