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Saturday, December 2, 2023
Dec. 2, 2023

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Shooting of man marks Yakima County’s 36th homicide of year

Tally, a 42-year high, includes area’s first school shooting


YAKIMA — Yakima County set a grim record in November.

Armando Jimenez-Cruz’s death Nov. 23 was the 36th homicide in Yakima County this year, the most homicides recorded in the county since 1980, according to statistics compiled by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

The county recorded 35 homicides in 2018 and again in 2020.

Yakima has had 14 homicides this year, five shy of the record 19 homicides recorded in 2018.

Jimenez-Cruz, 36, died from a gunshot wound, according to a Yakima County sheriff’s news release. He was found dead in a car the day before Thanksgiving at the intersection of Old Prosser and Mountainview roads.

This year’s homicides also included the county’s first school shooting, when 16-year-old Shawn Dwight Tolbert was shot in the parking lot at Eisenhower High School on March 16. His 15-year-old cousin pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the case and has been sentenced to incarceration in a juvenile rehabilitation facility until his 21st birthday.

The total also includes the beating deaths of José Navarro, 84, and Rafaela Guzmán Navarro, 87, on July 4 in Union Gap. Police went to the Navarros’ home shortly before 10:40 p.m. after their grandchildren found them injured and unresponsive.

The case remains unsolved.

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