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Suspect in Yakima drive-by killing arrested Saturday

A suspected gang member has been arrested in connection with a homicide in front of a Yakima motel Monday.

Yakima police spotted the 37-year-old man at the Red Apple Motel, 416 N. First St. around 11:35 a.m. Saturday, Yakima police Capt. Jay Seely said. The suspect ran but was quickly taken into custody, Seely said.

The man pulled what appeared to be a gun from his waistband as he ran into an alley by E Street near Second Street, Seely said, and threw it in a UPS dropbox. Police recovered the gun from the box, and will be testing it to see if it was the one used to kill a man, Seely said.

The man is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder and drive-by shooting in the April 5 death of Anthony Carlos Rodriguez, 37, outside the Motel 6, 1010 Staff Sgt. Pendleton Way.

Seely said Saturday’s arrest was the culmination of hard work by YPD detectives in the major crime and gang units who initially had little to go on.

“I’m proud of our detectives,” Seely said. “They have worked tirelessly over the past week to develop a lead.”

Security video from the motel showed a car drive past Rodriguez three times before he was shot, Seely said. YPD later found the car parked at Neighborhood Connections, 102 S. Naches Ave., Seely said.

Police are still trying to determine a motive, Seely said. The suspect, whom Seely said was a transient, appears to have a gang association and moniker but does not appear in YPD gang records.

Detectives are preparing to search the suspect’s room at the Red Apple in hopes of finding additional evidence, Seely said.

Rodriguez’s death was the third homicide in the city this year, and the ninth in Yakima County.

Reach Donald W. Meyers at dmeyers@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: donaldwmeyers, or https://www.facebook.com/donaldwmeyersjournalist.

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