Police identify suspected killer on the loose

Police identify suspected killer on the loose »Play Video
Angel Venegas

YAKIMA, Wash.-- We now know who's the prime suspect of last week's murder at a Yakima motel. Investigators identified their prime suspect as Angel Venegas Junior. Officers thought they had him cornered last night around North First Street, but he got away.

Police say they came close to catching 22-year-old Angel Fabian Venegas Monday night. He's the main suspect for the murder of Joshua Mathis at the Red Apple Motel.

"When we're that close to the bad guy, especially a murder suspect and he slips away, it is frustrating, but there's always another day," YPD Captain Rod Light said. 

The investigation intensified when a Yakima County Deputy's license plate reader picked up a stolen car driving on North First Street. Police say Venegas and two other people were in the car. All three got out and started running when officers closed in on them.

"I seen them chasing the suspect down the road and Sheriff's came down and thought it was me or if I had something to do with it and I almost, I almost dropped my mom's dog," Earl Thompson, who was in the area, said. 

Earl Thompson and his neighbors saw them converge on the North Acres Mobile Home Park. Stanley Andrews has worked here for 17 years.

"In a matter of ten minutes, I had four or five phone calls," Andrews said. "I'm going 'yeah, I know, I'm here.'"

"There was lights everywhere, I mean, there was a light show," Thompson said.

Our Facebook page was flooded with comments from people concerned for their safety around North First Street. Information about the severity of the danger wasn't coming from police at the time.

"We can't always do active live reporting to the media when we're dealing with, you know, an immediate threat," Captain Light said. 

"I didn't know what was going on," Thompson said. "Yeah, it was scary. It was, it was scary."

There is fear that might not be gone yet with the man police are looking for still on the loose. Police caught the woman they say ran from the car with Venegas. She was questioned for leads, but not arrested.