Prosecutor Awaits Full Mobile Home Park Shooting Investigation Before Charging Decision | Homicide

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The Yakima County chief prosecutor said he was awaiting more information before deciding whether to charge a man who shot a neighbor who police said broke into his mobile home on Thursday.

“From all I know, it sounds like a legal defense for the family,” Prosecutor Joe Brusic said on Saturday. “Until I receive this final investigation, I will not be making a decision.”

Police said a family living in the mobile home returned home around 7:45 p.m. and one of their daughters found Mendoza in her room, according to Yakima Police Captain Jay Seely. They called 911 and the mother had six children, aged 7 to 14, outside the house.

The mother said her boyfriend had armed himself with a gun and shot Mendoza during a fight, the shots being heard during the 911 call, police said.

An autopsy revealed that Mendoza, who lived next door, died from multiple gunshots to the chest, and his death was deemed a homicide, Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice said. Autopsies only determine cause and mode of death and cannot determine intent in homicide cases.

The Yakima Religious Communities Association is hosting a virtual “blessing moment” at noon Monday, asking people to pray for peace and healing from violence.

Mendoza’s death is the seventh homicide this year in Yakima and the 15th in Yakima County.


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