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17-year-old arrested in connection with Yakima shooting death in May

By Kaitlin Bain Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA – A 17-year-old boy was arrested Thursday in connection with the May slaying of a Yakima man.

The teen was booked at the Yakima County Detention Center on suspicion of first-degree murder, according to a Thursday evening news release from the Yakima Police Department.

The teen is accused of killing 31-year-old Emilio Phelan, who was shot May 19 while riding a bicycle near Peach Street and Cornell Avenue. Phelan was taken to a local hospital and died from blood loss a short time later. At the time, police said the slaying did not appear to be gang-related.

On Thursday, police said the homicide seemed to be a drive-by shooting. No further details, such how the teen was arrested or why police believe he killed Phelan, were released.

The teen is the fifth person arrested by Yakima police in connection with a homicide this year. In April, police arrested 23-year-old Luiz Barrera in relation to the killing of 14-year-old Kabin Smith that same month. In November, police arrested an 18-year-old in connection with the apparent accidental shooting of 20-year-old Javier Baez.

In another case, police have released information about a 15-year-old suspected in the October killing of 17-year-old Napoleon Prado Jr. The 15-year-old remains wanted, but two other teens were arrested and charged with rendering criminal assistance in that case.

There have been 13 homicides in the city of Yakima this year. No arrests have been made in nine of those killings.

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