Family of Saturday's shooting suspect speaks out
PASCO, Wash. -- The investigation of an officer-involved shooting in Pasco is still underway, but now upset family members are speaking out.
Pasco Police said they responded to a domestic violence call, and the suspect, Edwin Espejo, shot at them and they shot back. But his family claims their loved one is innocent.
Police called it a gun battle--both sides firing several shots--sending Espejo to the hospital. Officers said they were answering a 911 call for domestic violence Saturday night. Espejo's wife, Maria Ordaz, said their argument never got physical.
“I admit it did get out of control the way we raised our voice,” Ordaz said. “But that was it. Just verbal.”
She said she told officers she and her kids were okay.
“They all ran into the home with no permission,” Ordaz said. “And I think it's weird that they went in there when I had told them there was no domestic violence.”
Police say what followed was an agitated Espejo who fired a gun at officers. They said the officers first tried to stop Espejo with a taser, and when that didn't work, fired their guns.
“They had the gun already out,” said Espejo’s nine-year-old son. “They were pointing it at my dad. And then one of the cops pointed it at me. I hugged both of my brothers and put them in front of me so they couldn't point it at them.”
Ordaz said she doesn't believe her husband had a gun, but police said a bullet struck an officer in the pant leg.
“We know that Mr. Espejo fired directly at our officers, and narrowly missed them,” said Captain Ken Roske of the Pasco Police Department.
Ordaz said Espejo received eight bullet wounds and is now in stable condition.
“I'd like to know what they wanted,” Ordaz said. “Because had they not gone in, he wouldn't have been shot.”
Police said Espejo is a convicted felon who's had prior arrests for domestic violence. And his family said they want to clear his name.
“That's not the man he is now,” Espejo said. “He's made mistakes; he's paid for them already.”
The Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office said they haven't made any charges against Espejo yet. Pasco Police said they are cooperating with the Special Investigation Unit (SIU). SIU said they can't comment further because this is still an active investigation--with more information to be released in the coming weeks.