Saturday, September 18, 2021
Sept. 18, 2021

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Deanda denies murder attempt

Vancouver man accused in shooting at apartments

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

UPDATE: Robert Deanda pleaded guilty Nov. 15, 2018, in Clark County Superior Court to first-degree assault and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, court records show.

A Vancouver man accused of shooting and injuring a 21-year-old man was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of attempted first-degree murder.

Robert Deanda, 18, appeared in Clark County Superior Court to formally face the attempted murder charge and charges of first-degree assault and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, court records show.

Deanda was arrested Thursday in connection with the July 31 shooting. Detectives with the Vancouver Police Department’s safe streets task force and the neighborhood response team worked with the Southwest Washington Regional SWAT team to make the arrest.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Vancouver police were dispatched to a reported weapons disturbance shortly before 10:30 p.m. at Springfield Meadow Apartments, 4317 N.E. 66th Ave. Responding officers found Antonio Caton-Murillo suffering from a gunshot wound to his torso. He was transported by ambulance to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where he was rushed into surgery.

Officers recovered five spent 9 mm casings near the apartment building, the affidavit states.

Caton-Murillo later told detectives that he and his co-workers were at his apartment packing up the belongings of a woman who lives there when three males knocked on the front door asking for her. Court records do not state the woman’s relationship to anyone involved in the case.

Witnesses said the males, one of which was later identified as Deanda, exchanged words with Caton-Murillo, and Caton-Murillo shoved one of the males, according to court documents. One of the males ran off through the apartment complex, and the other two eventually walked away. Caton-Murillo said he closed and locked the door and continued to pack up the woman’s clothes, court records said.

A few minutes later, Caton-Murillo said, he went to put a bag of clothes in his car when he saw the same group standing in the apartment complex east of his building. One was holding an object that appeared to be a knife. That male then yelled something similar to “Pull the gun out!” the affidavit states.

Caton-Murillo said he didn’t see a gun but heard a gunshot. He thought a bullet whizzed past his head, he said, so he started running back to his apartment and heard two more shots. He then felt pain in his back, he said, and realized he had been shot. He climbed over a fence and hid in bushes until his friends found him, court records state. Police said Caton-Murillo was also shot in the pelvic area.

A friend of Caton-Murillo’s, who was also outside during the shooting, said he heard a bullet pass right next to him, according to court documents. He is named as the victim of the alleged first-degree assault.

Detectives identified Deanda as the shooting suspect, but he had fled the scene before police arrived.

He was contacted as a passenger in a vehicle at about 3:40 p.m. Thursday and was arrested without incident.

In an interview with detectives, Deanda said he had gone to the apartment to buy pills from the woman who lived there and was confronted by an unknown male. While he and his friends were standing in the parking lot, he said, a male from the other group started running at his friend with a knife. Deanda said he pulled out a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband and fired shots toward the other males. He said he was not aiming at anyone specifically, according to court documents.

On Tuesday, Judge Gregory Gonzales denied Deanda’s request to reduce his bail, court records show. He remains at the Clark County Jail in lieu of $500,000.

Deanda’s trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 3.