Monday, April 12, 2021
April 12, 2021

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Man faces attempted murder charge

He’s accused of striking man during drive-by shooting

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published:

A 23-year-old man is facing an attempted murder charge for an alleged drive-by shooting Thursday night at an apartment complex in Vancouver’s Fircrest neighborhood.

On Monday, Clark County Superior Court Judge Gregory Gonzales set bail for Santiago Hernandez Jr. at $300,000. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for March 10.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jeff McCarty had requested $1 million bail, citing Hernandez’s pending fourth-degree domestic violence assault case in District Court and “extreme concerns” about community safety if he were to be released.

Hernandez was initially arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault and drive-by shooting. The court noted during Hernandez’s hearing that he was now facing attempted first-degree murder.

When Hernandez heard the news, he said through sobs, “I didn’t try to do that.”

Defense attorney Louis Byrd Jr. said he believes there may be a self-defense claim to make in the case, to which Hernandez replied, “He pulled a gun on me and me son. … please.”

Vancouver police were dispatched at about 7:10 p.m. to a reported disturbance with a weapon at Autumn Chase Apartments, 11301 N.E. Seventh St. Several 911 callers reported that shots were fired, a white pickup with a ladder rack fled the scene, and there was a man in the area holding his arm and screaming, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The shooting victim, identified in court records as Christian Martinez-Serrano, got into a Jeep and was taken to a hospital, where police contacted him, according to the affidavit.

Police say the bullet that struck Martinez-Serrano went through his left arm and entered his torso. He underwent surgery for his wounds, court records say.

Martinez-Serrano told investigators the man who shot him had reported him to police earlier in the day over the theft of tools. Records revealed as much; however, Hernandez provided another reason for the alleged assault.

Following the shooting, officers watched Hernandez leave his residence, pulled him over and arrested him. At the police department’s West Precinct, Hernandez said his girlfriend had accused Martinez-Serrano of “creeping on her” while she was walking through the Autumn Chase Apartments parking lot, according to the affidavit.

Hernandez drove to the apartment complex with his 2-year-old son in the passenger’s seat. He spotted Martinez-Serrano standing near a black Jeep, and the two men started shouting at each other as Hernandez sat in his truck, according to the affidavit.

He told police that Martinez-Serrano said, “You want some of this?” as he retrieved a black handgun from the Jeep, the affidavit says. Hernandez said he feared for his life and for his son’s life, so he unholstered his own gun.

“Hernandez stated that he fired approximately 10-12 rounds at (Martinez-Serrano) and then drove away from the location,” the affidavit reads.

Detectives later retrieved a .40 caliber semi-automatic weapon from Hernandez’s truck. They also searched the victim’s vehicle but did not find a gun, according to the affidavit.

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