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Yakima Still Looking For Answers to Two Murders in One Day


When the sun went down in Yakima Friday, police had arrested two people in connection with one murder and were investigating another at the Red Apple Motel.

With the recent violence, do people in Yakima feel safe?

“You open your door and you see a body right there on the floor,” Tanis Allen told KNDO News.

That’s exactly how Tanis Allen found 26-year-old Joshua Mathis in front of his room at the Red Apple Motel Friday night.

“You don’t see stuff like that,” Allen said. “Right when you come outside your door, you don’t see someone laying on the floor (who) got shot like that.”

“He was just laying there with his eyes open and it was like… I don’t know how to describe it to you,” Leonard Duran said. “He was just there.”

Mathis was shot twice, in the head and the chest. He was pronounced dead at the hospital from a massive head wound.

Red Apple Motel owner Gulwinder Sanghe says the area around the motel on North First Street can become dangerous after dark.

“Oh yeah, bad crowd. Bad, bad, bad,” Sanghe said.

The shooting happened just 15 hours and 7 blocks away from another murder early Friday morning. Justin Michael Flick-Grange was shot and killed at Brews and Cues after winning a bet on a game of pool.

These two murders mark the fifth and sixth homicides in Yakima this year, relatively low as numbers go. But two in one day? That’s rare. Do people still feel safe?

“If you’re asking me if I feel safe, yeah, I do,” Duran said. “Because I’ve gotten to know a lot of these people and I know if there’s anything that I need help with, they’re there to do it. Even if it’s their last potato chip, and they are hungry for it, they’ll give it to you.”

It doesn’t seem that these murders are a part of any pattern, just a horrible coincidence.

Police arrested Louis Kennedy Ayala and Luberto Fernandez Rodriguez in connection with the Grange murder. Investigators have yet to announce a suspect in the Mathis case.

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