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Prosser man in custody for drive-by shootings in G'view

GRANDVIEW - A Prosser man, 32-year-old Jose L. Valencia, was yesterday (Thursday) arrested by Grandview police in connection to two drive-by shootings.

Grandview police believe him to be the shooter during an incident in the 700 block of North Third Street last Friday, as well as a drive-by shooting incident in the 900 block of Pleasant Avenue, just outside city limits this past Monday.

Assistant Police Chief Mark Ware said witnesses identified a white Chevrolet dually that was used during the incident that occurred inside city limits. Detectives began to focus on Valencia as a possible suspect and worked with Prosser police to determine the vehicle belonged to a resident of that city.

After obtaining a search warrant from a Benton County judge, law enforcement officers from Prosser and the Benton County Sheriff's Office assisted Grandview detectives with a search of Valencia's home in the 300 block of Merlot Drive in Prosser.

"Recovered were two semi-automatic handguns...ammunition recovered seemed to match components that had been recovered at the Grandview drive-by scene," said Ware.

He said Valencia was taken into custody without incident.

Grandview police are requesting the suspect be charged with 12 counts of assault first degree and 12 counts of drive-by shooting, the number of counts matching the number of individuals inside the North Third Street home at the time of the shooting.

"As always, the prosecutors will make the final determination on formal charges filed," said Ware.

He said the incident on North Third Street is not believed to be gang-related. It is believed Valencia's alleged motive had "something to do with an estranged girlfriend."

Stew Graham, chief of detectives for the Sheriff's office, said officials believe Valencia is also a suspect in the Pleasant Avenue incident, however charges have not yet been forwarded to the prosecutor.

No injuries were reported in either of the two drive-by shootings.

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