They have been friends since grade school. They know everything there is to know about each other. But on Thursday night, James and Pablo shared an experience that will scare them for life.
Walking home from the Davis High School Follies, the two were confronted by what police believe were two gang members looking for cash.
"Stepped out of the alley and started following us and right there at the tree that's when they stopped us," said James. "He just moved his arm up straight with it and shot."
No warning. As soon as the shooter decided the two had nothing worth stealing, that was all he needed, "He pretty much just shot!"
James was struck in the upper chest, "Right about an inch below. Went in, apparently punctured the lung, and hit the back rib. Broke the rib and the bullet stayed back there."
Pablo was hit in the shoulder, "I got three holes for some reason," Pablo explained. "I'm guessing it entered here in the shoulder, it came out here above the bone and it entered in my neck. I didn't feel anything when I got hit by the bullet. Nothing. I thought it was just little sparks from the gun."
"Right around this area I looked at my sweater, and I saw reddish stuff and I was like, what?" James continued.
Pablo interrupted, "I told him we had to go where there were lights and the only lights were at Taco Bell and Holiday Inn, the clinic, etc. So we were making our way over there and I was trying to make James follow me."
James says he no longer had the strength to keep walking, "And I just sat down, back to the fence. Then I couldn't feel my arms move up. I like couldn't move my arms anymore."
James and Pablo are solid young men. They are not trouble makers.
Pablo jokingly reminded James he got straight A's his final semester at Davis.
James is now a member of the Washington National Guard. He's saving for college. This close call however is a reminder of the times we now live in. The two admit, the bond they share is even stronger because of it.
Both James and Pablo told KIMA they don't see enough police during the late night hours in their neighborhood. We asked YPD about their staffing at night. We discovered that, in fact, the largest number of officers patrolling Yakima is between 8:30p.m. and 3:40a.m.
Add to that the four officers on the Gang Unit who work at night. No one will tell you we have enough police. But YPD insists they are scheduled when they are needed most.