By Yakima Herald-Republic
YAKIMA VALLEY – A man was killed in an exchange of gunfire with Yakima County Sheriff’s deputies early Saturday outside Zillah, the Yakima Valley Special Investigations Unit reported.
Ezequiel Ayala, 26, was shot and died at the scene at about 1:25 a.m. after firing at sheriff’s officers as he fled on foot into a Lower Valley vineyard. The shooting occurred in the 3900 block of Gilbert Road near the intersection with Cheyne Road, according to Yakima Police Capt. Jay Seely, part of the special investigations unit.
The deputies said they were shot at multiple times, according to a news release.
“The detectives did recover a semi automatic 9 mm pistol from the suspect with a partially expended magazine,” Seely said later.
The sheriff’s deputy and sergeant involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard policy, the release said.
The sheriff’s office asked the Yakima Valley Special Investigations Unit to probe the shooting. The investigations unit is a multiagency team that provides an independent investigation of officer-involved shootings.
Earlier, Sunnyside Police Department officers responded to shots fired at a gathering at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 100 E. South Hill Road. One person suffered multiple gunshot wounds and Sunnyside police determined the suspect’s name and possible location, the release said.
Sunnyside officers requested assistance from the sheriff’s office and deputies encountered Ayala near his mother’s home. When deputies tried to stop him, he fled in his vehicle, according to the release. Officers pursued him to the vineyards.
An autopsy may be scheduled later this week, the news release said.
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