Wednesday, November 30, 2011
WALLA WALLA -- One of the men allegedly holding police officers at bay this morning is accused of shooting at several rival gang members and injuring one after a confrontation in the 300 block of North Sixth Avenue in October.
Joseph D. Dejesus, 20, whose last known address was 373 S. Second Ave., was charged Oct. 12 in Walla Walla County Superior Court with seven counts of first-degree assault, and one count each of drive-by shooting and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. A warrant was issued with bail set at $125,000.
Two days later, Dejesus was charged with felony riot for his alleged participation in a drive-by shooting at Howard and Tietan streets last summer. Bail on that warrant was set at $50,000.
If convicted as charged, he would spend decades in prison.
Police said Dejesus was a passenger in a Nissan Pathfinder that drove by the house at 308 N. Sixth about 3 p.m. on Oct. 8.
A rival gang member -- who was in the yard at the time -- confronted the four occupants of the vehicle and an argument ensued, according to a police report filed in court.
Then six males -- all but one of whom are known gang members -- came out of the house and joined the confrontation.
Birzavit Carmona Hernandez, 19, one of the males who came from the house and allegedly a gang member, reportedly threw a set of metal knuckles at the vehicle as it was driven away heading north. Then Dejesus -- in the front passenger seat -- allegedly fired three or four shots from a small-caliber handgun toward Carmona Hernandez and those with him.
Carmona Hernandez was shot in the leg and taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center, where he was treated and released.
The following day, a .22-caliber handgun was found in Milton-Freewater in a different car that had been occupied by Dejesus, the police report says.
Dejesus' criminal history includes two felony convictions for possessing a controlled substance without a prescription. Therefore, it is unlawful for him to possess a firearm.
The Walla Walla police report said information on the case was pieced together through interviews with various witnesses. That agency was assisted in the investigation by the Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office and Milton-Freewater police.
Regarding the shooting July 28 at Howard and Tietan, police say Dejesus was with other gang members in the bed of a pickup that was chasing rival members in a Chevy Tahoe.
Shots were fired from the pickup's cab while Dejesus and others in the back were throwing rocks, officials said.
A nearby house was struck by a bullet, but no injuries were reported.
Others allegedly involved were arrested in a roundup conducted by area law enforcement Oct. 14 and 15.
Terry McConn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8319.