Police arrest Lower Valley man in connection with drive-by shooting

Police arrest Lower Valley man in connection with drive-by shooting
Juan Lionel Rivas. (Photo credit: Toppenish Police Department)

UPDATE: Toppenish police and the Violent Crimes Task Force arrested Juan Rivas late Friday morning. Officials said he tried to run from officers but was quickly taken into custody.

Rivas faces two counts of 1st degree assault. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.


TOPPENISH, Wash. --   Police are searching for a Lower Valley man they say fired shots at two people Tuesday morning.

Investigators originally believed the suspect, 23-year-old Juan Rivas, fled and barricaded himself in a home near the scene of the shooting.

The SWAT situation unfolded quickly on the 500 block of Elm Street.

A search of the home revealed Rivas had been there but was able to slip away before SWAT officers secured the property, according to investigators.

Police say Rivas is a known gang member and believe he was a clear danger to the community.

"I got off school because we had a lock down," said neighbor Carrie Measel. "And, I just saw a bunch of cops and I was like; What's going on?"

Investigators say Tuesday morning's shooting took place two blocks away from the home officers later searched. Witnesses say Rivas ran off after the shooting.

"It's crazy, kind of scary," said another neighbor who did not want to be identified.

SWAT believed he was inside the home but after nearly three hours they realized Rivas had slipped away.

Police say they pulled several people out of that house but not the suspected shooter.

Officers arrested one person on a separate charge. The rest could be in trouble for obstruction.

Investigators say found several firearms and drugs during the search.

"What caused alarm was that we had several gang members come out. We arrested them and we're told it's clear and we see movement through a window," said Toppenish Police Chief Adam Diaz.

Investigators believe the original shooting was over a woman. They say one of the people Rivas shot at was his ex-girlfriend.

"Is it nerve-racking?" KIMA asked.

"Yes, It kind of is," said Measel. "Because you don't know what's going to happen, if there's going to be shots fired."

Rivas is still on the loose and considered armed and dangerous.