Armed robbery suspect takes own life before arrest

Armed robbery suspect takes own life before arrest
YAKIMA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE NEWS RELEASE -- On 05-24-2014 at about 1623 hours the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office was advised of an armed robbery in progress at the Gold Nugget Market located at 1041 Buena Rd.

Passersby were driving by the store and saw what appeared to be a robbery in progress inside the store. Two males armed with a shotgun had entered the store and took money before fleeing in what was described as a white Pontiac with Yakama tribal plates.

About 15 minutes later Wapato Police saw a vehicle matching that description coming into Wapato as it traveled south on Donald Rd. Wapato Police and Yakima County Sheriff’s deputies conducted a high risk stop of the vehicle and ordered occupants out of the vehicle one at a time at which time three of the four were detained.

As law enforcement officers began or direct the fourth and final person to exit the vehicle, officers heard a gunshot from inside the vehicle. The final person in the vehicle was found to be deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The deceased male has been identified as 24 year old James Walker of Toppenish. Next of kin have been notified. Indications are that Mr Walker died by the same gun that was brandished during the armed robbery.

The other three occupants of the vehicle have been booked into the Yakima County jail for Robbery. The other three suspects are identified as a 37 year old male from Toppenish, a 26 year old male from Toppenish and a 28 year old female from Toppenish. Each of the suspects in custody has an extensive criminal history.

The deceased suspect was captured on video during the robbery chasing the female clerk inside the market while pointing the shotgun at her. While the suspect with the shotgun chases the clerk another suspect that is in custody is seen jumping the counter to access the cash register.

The only shot fired during this incident was the single shot fired from inside the suspect vehicle. No one else was injured during this incident.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.