Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Brusic will not file murder or drive-by shooting charges against the three men arrested in connection with a deadly shooting Nov. 20 near Hy’s Mini Mart on Lincoln Avenue in Yakima.
In a memo outlining his decision, Brusic wrote that his decision not to file charges in the case is “based upon the simultaneous use of force by both the suspects and alleged victim against each other” which would prevent prosecutors from overcoming the suspects’ claim of self-defense.
Marcos Ivan Mendoza-Guillen, 30, died of gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen, the coroner found.
The incident began with a fight inside the market between the victim and the three suspects, who were members of rival gangs. During their time in the store, Mendoza-Guillen “aggressively assaulted” one of the three men, as seen on surveillance video, Brusic’s memo said.
Bystanders broke up that fight, but a few minutes later a car carrying Mendoza-Guillen pulled up behind the car carrying the suspects at the corner of Custer and Lincoln Avenue, the memo said. Surveillance video shows Mendoza-Guillen got out of the car and approached the other vehicle, and both parties started shooting.
“Through the current investigation involving witness statements, video and comparison of all the facts, we are unable to determine who fired upon whom first,” Brusic’s memo said.
Mendoza-Guillen died at Virginia Mason Memorial hospital. The three suspects in the other car were arrested the next day at a home on Old Naches Highway.
The two adults were being held on $250,000 bail; the 15-year-old was being held on $500,000. All three were facing charges of drive-by shooting before today’s announcement.