A man in Yakima, Washington was at the dog park with his pet and son when an erratic attacker endangered his son and refused to leave. Forced to respond and unable to leave the park or deescalate the situation, the man drew his legally carried firearm and shot the attacker, killing him.
The Yakima County Police Department released a statement about the incident on Facebook, describing what happened during the incident and justifying letting the father who shot the man to protect his son go. In their words:
“On 02/05/2023 at 2:30 PM, multiple people called 911 reporting that a man had arrived at the Randall Park Dog Park acting erratically. 911 callers indicated that the subject who was acting erratically encountered a man who was with his young child at the park. The erratic subject attempted to endanger the ife of the small child with his words and actions, at which point the child’s father protected his child from the threat. The child’s father gave the erratic subject verbal commands to leave his family alone, while he attempted to leave the park. After attempts to verbally de-escalate the indicdent failed, the child’s father, a 28-year-old Yakima man, discharged his legally owned firearm in defense of himself and his child. The incident resulted in the death of 22-year-old Daniel Ortega of Yakima.
“The Criminal Investigative Division responded to assist in the investigation. Multiple interviews of the involved parties and witnesses corroborated what was believed to have occurred. After consultation with the Yakima County Prsoecutor, the man who discharged the firearm in this incident was released after cooperating with detectives.
“Once the investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to the Yakima County Prosecutor’s Office for a formal decision.”
The Yakima Herald, a local news source, reported on the shooting and suggested that narcotics were to blame for the attacker’s erratic behavior, saying:
Several people called 911 to report a man acting erratically, according to police. Ortega approached a man and his child, whom YPD Chief Matt Murray said was 5 or 6 years old, and tried to take the child. The child’s father told Ortega to leave his family alone, and when that failed to stop Ortega, he shot Ortega, killing him.
The accused shooters in both cases have not been arrested, police said. Murray said it will be up to Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Brusic to determine if the killings were legally justified.
Brusic said he is waiting for the reports from the police department.
Murray said narcotics appear to be a factor in the Randall Park incident, as well as a triple homicide at the East Nob Hill Boulevard Circle K in January.
“We are seeing an escalation of violence in connection with the behavior,” Murray said. “I don’t know why it seems to be so. Addictions have been around for a long time, but we are being confronted with a larger issue.”
Curtice said toxicology reports on both men are pending.
By: Will Tanner. Follow me on Twitter @Will_Tanner_1
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