YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima police identified the three officers involved in two fatal officer-involved shootings Tuesday.
But the identities of the two Yakima SWAT team members who shot and wounded a man Wednesday will be identified Thursday, in keeping with Yakima Police Department policy to wait a day before identifying officers involved in shootings.
Officer Booker Ward, 36, shot Adrian Escobar, 29, during a standoff at a home in the 300 block of West Pierce Street. Ward has been a Yakima officer for eight years.
Yakima officers Shane Stevie, 28, and Patrick Shad, 25, fatally shot Jose Miguel Garcia, 31, following a five-hour standoff at the Cascade Apartments early Tuesday morning. Stevie is a three-year Yakima police officer, and Shad has been employed by the department for a year, Schneider said.
None had been in an officer-involved shooting before, Schneider said.
Washington State Patrol investigators are investigating Escobar’s shooting, Schneider said, while Yakima is investigating the other shootings.
Yakima police were called to the West Pierce Street home about 7 p.m. Monday for an intoxicated man who said he shot people, according to Yakima police.
Escobar put a gun to his head and threatened to kill himself when police arrived, Schneider said. Escobar fired shots at officers from the house before SWAT teams from Yakima and Benton County arrived, and officers attempted to negotiate with him six times, according to police.
Schneider said the Benton County SWAT team was brought in to provide relief for officers working in the cold weather during the six-hour standoff.
Schneider said Escobar fired at officers again, and Ward, a Yakima SWAT team member, shot him about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Escobar died from a single gunshot to the head, Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins said Wednesday.
In 2011, Escobar pleaded guilty to assault in violation of a protection order and was sentenced to a year in prison. He also had juvenile convictions for residential burglary in 2002 and second-degree burglary in 2003, according to Yakima County Superior Court records.
In the other shooting, Yakima police were called to the Cascade Apartments, 20 N. First St., about 7:30 p.m. Monday for a man threatening people with a handgun.
Garcia, who was blind, was in his apartment when officers arrived and heard him speaking as if there was someone else in the apartment, Schneider said. The officers also reported hearing what they thought was a pistol slide action being worked, Schneider said.
Officers attempted to negotiate with Garcia for five hours before they forced the door open to carry out a search warrant, Schneider said. After the door was opened, officers continued to negotiate with Garcia for another five to 10 minutes before the situation “deteriorated” and officers shot Garcia, Schneider said.
Officers found a gun in the apartment, and determined that Garcia was by himself, Schneider said.
Schneider could not explain what exactly led to the shooting, as the officers have not given statements to police yet. Department policy requires investigators to wait 48 hours before approaching officers involved in shootings, and the officers reserve the right to consult with an attorney before answering questions in a criminal probe, Schneider said.
Garcia died from multiple gunshot wounds, Hawkins said.
Schneider said Garcia had an “extensive” criminal record with assault charges.
A check of court records showed that Garcia had misdemeanor assault, harassment and drug charges dismissed without prejudice earlier this year in Yakima County District Court after he was found incompetent to stand trial. Misdemeanor assault charges filed in Yakima Municipal Court in 2013 and 2015 were dismissed when witnesses failed to show up, the records showed.
At the time of the shooting, Garcia was awaiting trial on charges he threatened to kill a family member and had six-tenths of a gram of methamphetamine in his possession when he was booked into the Yakima County jail in April. Yakima County Superior Court Judge Michael McCarthy ordered him released under court supervision as part of the pretrial release program.