Murder Suspect Appears In Court Today
A Yakima man appears in court today after telling detectives he killed two gang members on the banks of the Naches River yesterday, because he was afraid of them.
19 year old Lameiro Efren Flores appeared in court today for a preliminary hearing.
According to court documents, flores told detectives he shot 18-year-old Jobany Martinez and 17-year-old Jose Avilez, out of fear the two gang members would attack him, which he claims they had done before.
"And it was after that, for whatever reason, the suspect, rather than just leaving, decided he would just take care of things right there, and pulled out his gun and shot the victims," said Lieutenant Mike Merryman.
Police were called to the 16th Avenue entrance to the Greenway along the Naches River about 4:30 yesterday.
The suspect admits to shooting the two teenagers in the head.
One of them died at the scene, the other died later at the hospital.
Debbie Schulte was at the river with her young daughter today -- she decided not to come yesterday after hearing about the shooting.
"It wasn't worth taking the risk of coming down here, I didn't really know what was going on, or if they had caught the shooter yet," said Schulte.
Police say they were able to apprehend Flores after officers spotted him and three others attempting to leave the parking lot.
Lieutenant mike merryman says an interesting aspect of the case is that flores has no gang affiliations.
"The suspect in this case is not known to us a gang member, not involved in the gang life, doesn't have any gang connections. So it's a little bit of a different scenario than what you typically see," said Merryman.
As for Debbie Schulte, she says she is glad that the river is safe once again for her daughter to enjoy.
"I feel better that he's caught, but it's not gonna stop me from coming down and having fun," said Schulte.
Bail for Lameiro Efren Flores is set at 2 million dollars -- he'll be back in court on August 21st.