Rocendo Arias, 23

Yakima, Washington
January 04, 2014

Agencies: Yakima Police Department Washington | Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney's Office Washington

Cause of death: Shooting

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Last updated: about 6 years ago


NBC Right Now is digging deeper into the events that led up to a deadly officer involved shooting at a car wash in Yakima Saturday.

Details on Saturday's incident at a Yakima car wash have been scarce until now. Yakima Police said an officer was on routine patrol at 3 a.m. along East Nob Hill Boulevard. 29-year-old Casey Gilette noticed a car sitting in the parking lot for over an hour.

"Approached on foot on the driver's side, moved around the vehicle to the passenger side of the vehicle," said Captain Rod Light with the Yakima Police Department. "Opened the door, discovered the suspect was armed with a handgun."

Police said the suspect 23-year-old Rocendo Arias had his finger on the trigger.

Officer Gilette shot four times hitting Arias once in the head and killing him. Officers said during this early investigation, they discovered the suspect's gun was non-lethal.

"It was later determined that the handgun was a replica of an actual firearm so what I would refer to as an airsoft gun, but they appear very real," said Captain Light.

Legal Action

In September 2016, Arias' family filed a case against the city of Yakima. Arias' sister accepted an award of $500,000 from the city as a settlement.