Arrest in Walla Walla Gang Murder

WALLA WALLA POLICE NEWS RELEASE -- Gang Detectives of the Special Teams Unit and a city detective arrested a Walla Walla teen for the Tuesday evening murder of gang member Julio Cesar Martinez, 20.

Benito Gomez, 18, a member of a local rival gang, was taken into custody at about 2:40 a.m., following a lengthy interview by detectives late Friday night. Probable cause for the arrest was based on many interviews over the last 3 days, leading detectives to make a case that Gomez was the shooter. More arrests are expected as the investigation continues.

Gomez was lodged at the Walla Walla County Jail for one count of Murder 1st Degree and 6 counts of Assault 1st Degree. The assault charges stem from the other people who were in the immediate area at the time the shots were fired. Gomez is being held in a single cell due to concerns over his safety.

Due to continued concern of increased gang violence, sheriff’s deputies and city police will continue stepped up patrols in neighborhoods where gang members are known to frequent.