Coming home from the store late Tuesday night, 18-year-old Tony Cantu was startled to see a man collapsed on his front porch. Not recognizing the man as a neighbor, he demanded to know what the man was doing at his home. The man asked Cantu for help as he struggled to get up and go inside Cantu's home.
"He just collapsed on the kitchen floor," said the 2005 Sunnyside High School graduate.
While his father, Mario Cantu, called 9-1-1, young Cantu held the gunshot wounded man's hand and tried to comfort him.
"I asked his name and told him to hang on," he said. "I just kept telling him to stay calm."
Neither of the Cantus realized at that point, that the man, later identified as Jesus Jaime Torres, who lay bleeding on their kitchen floor, had been involved in a five-person shootout just four trailers down from their Sunnyside home in Parkland Homes.
"He told me that he and a buddy had been walking when they got shot," Cantu said.
"I just kept telling him he was going to be all right," he said.
"I know he had three gunshot wounds, one in the chest, one in the leg and one in his hip," Cantu said.
Cantu said just before the ambulance arrived, the young man told Cantu he "couldn't hang on anymore."
"That was the last thing he said to me," Cantu said.
It wasn't until late Wednesday afternoon that Cantu learned that the man had later died at Sunnyside Community Hospital.
A television reporter who interviewed the young Cantu as a witness told him of Torres' death, said his mother, Janie Cantu. "Tony's face just went white," she said.
Torres, 24, was one of two men who died as a result of the Tuesday night shooting in Parkland Homes at the #36 site. Also dead as a result of his wounds in the shooting is a man originally identified as Jorge L. Garcia, AKA Roberto Salamanca, 38. Late Wednesday afternoon, a Sunnyside police press release identified Garcia as Jose Barragon-Guevera, with no known address.
Torres and Barragon-Guevera both died within hours of the 10 p.m. shooting, according to Sunnyside Police Deputy Chief Phil Schenck.
Also injured in the incident were Leo Sanchez, who was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was listed in serious condition as of Wednesday evening.
Being treated for gunshot injuries at Sunnyside Community Hospital are Alvaro C. Perez, 37, of California and Jesus Villalobos, 34, of Sunnyside. Due to privacy laws, the hospital is unable to release any information about their current conditions.
As of Thursday morning, Washington State Patrol Crime Lab personnel were continuing to assist the Sunnyside Police Department with collecting evidence and crime scene documentation, according to a press release from the local department. While there is speculation that the shooting was the result of a drug deal gone bad, the police were not releasing any further details on the case at this time. What is known is that the shooting was not a random act of violence and the men all knew each other.
Tuesday's multiple homicide is the first one to have occurred in the city limits since 1980.
The 1980 incident resulted in three men dying as a result of gunshot wounds at Rainier Court, said Sunnyside Police Detective Joe Guillen, who was one of the first officers at the scene of that homicide.