24-year-old accused in June Kennewick drive-by shooting that left 1 seriously hurt

The Benton County Justice Center in Kennewick.

A 24-year-old man is accused of a gang-related shooting on Canal Drive, seriously injuring a teen.

Police believe Alexis Y. Salcedo Valdivia was behind the wheel of a blue Honda Civic on June 5 when he opened fire on a Mazda 3 loaded with rival gang members on the 6000 block of the road. He appeared in court this week after being arrested on Monday.

Three of the shots hit the driver’s door, and one of them hit a teen in the chest, according to court documents. The injury left him in serious condition at Kadlec Regional Medical Center.

He has been charged in Benton County Superior Court with drive-by shooting and illegally possessing a firearm. He is being held in the Benton County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Another man, Alejandro Cervantes, 30, has been charged with illegally possessing a stolen vehicle, and illegally having two guns, in connection with the case.

Kennewick police were called in to investigate the shooting after a wounded teen was brought to Kadlec in a Mazda 3, according to court documents. Initially Washington State Patrol troopers were investigating the shooting, but they discovered it happened on Canal Drive.

They learned the teen was in the Mazda 3 with four other gang members or gang associates when a blue Honda Civic approached their vehicle about 1:30 a.m.

Both vehicles were caught on a traffic camera going north on Volland Street near Hood Avenue. Then another gas station at the corner of Canal Drive and Edison Street showed both of the cars speeding through the area.

A witness heard about five shots at 1:40 a.m. near the 6000 block of Canal Drive, which is near Lawrence Scott Park. Police found two 9 mm shell casings in the area.

When the teen victim recovered, he told officers the Civic approached the Mazda near the Maverik gas station.

“Once he realized the blue Honda Civic had driven up next to him, he recalled hearing three gunshots fired toward him and he was struck once in chest,” according to court documents.

The alleged shooter’s description matched Salcedo Valdivia, court documents said.

Finding the shooter

Police got some help tracking down evidence when Kennewick officers found Cervantes, one of Salcedo Valdivia’s fellow gang members, driving a stolen car at the Maverik gas station on June 6.

He had two guns in the car, a 9 mm pistol and and a .22 caliber pistol. Cervantes said he didn’t touch the 9 mm handgun.

When police tested the gun, they discovered that it was the one used in the shooting the day before.

Investigators checked Cervantes’ phone and discovered a conversation between him and Salcedo Valdivia, where Cervantes was looking to buy some pills.

Before the shooting, Salcedo Valdivia said he was going to look for some rival gang members. Then after the shooting, he said he had “jest (sic) lit up” his rival gang members.

Police said that “lit up” means he said he shot at them.

The shooting is one of three that happened in the area in a relatively short time. Two rival gang members allegedly traded shots on Clearwater Avenue area near WinCo Foods on May 23.

Then on June 30, Aaron Lighthall, 25, allegedly opened fire on a truck on Clearwater Avenue. While none of the bullets made it inside, one of the people was cut with flying debris.