In conjunction with partnering agencies, the Hermiston Police Department is currently managing (2) separate major crime scenes. Both scenes appear to be two completely separate matters. No additional information will be ready for release until later today.
On 06/03/18 at approximately 9:55PM, the Hermiston Police Department responded to 2350 Kelli Boulevard on a report of an assault that just occurred. Due to an unrelated arrest being processed for transport to the Umatilla County Jail, only (1) Hermiston unit was able to respond. That unit quickly identified the matter as very serious due to stabbing injuries suffered by a 72-year old and 64-year old male. The on-call supervisor was notified and the major crime team was activated. The Oregon State Police Crime Lab responded as well to assist with the collection of evidence.
Both males were eventually sent out of Hermiston via Life Flight to receive treatment for injuries sustained. Status on both male victims is not known as of right now. The Hermiston Police Department does have a 34-year old Hermiston male in custody and more formal information to include charges will be released later today.
Update 06/04/18, 12:46PM: On the 4th of June 2018 at approximately 6:50AM, the Hermiston Police Department with assistance from the Umatilla/Morrow County Major Crime Team, took Aaron M. Zuwala into custody for his suspected involvement in this crime. Mr. Zuwala, 34 years of age formerly of Pendleton but now living in the 1600 block of West Sunland Avenue, Hermiston, was interviewed at the Hermiston Police Department before being transported and lodged at the Umatilla County Jail in Pendleton. Mr. Zuwala was lodged on (2) counts of Attempted Murder, (2) counts of Assault in the First Degree and (2) counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon.
The victims in the case were 72-year old Harold Piercy and 64-year old Richard Rukaveno both of 2350 Kelli Blvd., Hermiston. Both Piercy and Rukaveno are receiving treatment in a Portland area hospital. As of this update, both conditions are stable but serious.
All parties involved in this matter were known to each other. Additional information may be released on this investigation at a later time by the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office.
On 06/04/18 at approximately 1:20AM, the Hermiston Police Department and assisting agencies, responded to the 500 block of W. Hartley Ave on a report of gunshots having been fired. Responding officers located a 26-year old male with what appeared to be a significant wound to his head. That male was transported to Good Shepherd Hospital by Umatilla County Fire District 1 paramedics before being sent to Kadlec in Richland, Washington.
That investigation is still very much active and contrary to all the information on social media (some of which is not accurate) we will not be releasing additional information until we are able to locate the appropriate family members of the victim.
Update: 06/04/18, 3:46PM: The 26 year old victim from the early morning shooting has been identified as Erik Campos Navarrete of Hermiston. Although his name has been mentioned in comments on social media, due to the seriousness of his injury, we intentionally waited to officially release this information until certain family could be notified. The family is consulting with medical professionals at Kadlec at the time of this update.
Additional information on this investigation will not be released unless something significant takes place.
The Umatilla Police Department assisted our agency with transporting the previously mentioned and unrelated arrest, to the jail in Pendleton. The Oregon State Police has assisted with responding to additional calls for service for our agency.
We are receiving assistance from the Oregon State Police, Umatilla Police Department, Boardman Police Department, Pendleton Police Department, Stanfield Police Department, Milton-Freewater Police Department, Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team (BENT), the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office, as well as both the Umatilla County and Morrow County Sheriff’s Offices.