Friends and family left candles, flowers and a picture for a Pasco school bus driver killed this weekend in the breezeway of a Kennewick apartment complex.
Arthur Amaya, a deeply religious man, made a difference in the lives of young people who were trying to leave gangs by ministering to them, said Bri Forage on a GoFundMe she started for the family of the 40-year-old Kennewick man.
“It’s truly sad how the very people he loved reaching ... to give light and hope were the ones to create such a tragedy,” Forage wrote. “Peace and prayers for the Amaya family.”
Police hadn’t released any new information as of Tuesday morning about the shooting in the complex on the 600 block of North Tweedt Street. And no arrests had been announced in connection with the attack.
Investigators believe Amaya was standing in the breezeway of the building when he had a heated exchange with gang members about 10:40 p.m. Sunday.
The gang members opened fire on Amaya hitting him multiple times, police said. He died before he could be taken to the hospital.
It’s not clear why the gang members came to the apartment that night, but police Commander Christian Walters said Amaya was the target of the shooting.
Amaya’s wife, Adriana, wrote on Facebook late Sunday that he gave his life to serve Jesus.
One Facebook commenter said it was a senseless act but Amaya would still forgive the person who killed him.
“He was always a sweet and kind guy, all for the love of Jesus,” the commenter said.
A GoFundMe is set up to raise money to cover funeral costs and other expenses, said Forage’s post. Photos show Amaya with three children.
“We have an opportunity to wrap our love and support around the Amaya family in this time of loss,” she wrote. “Although we know he has gone to Jesus, we see the family he leaves behind that will bear the weight of this loss deeply.”
People interested in donating can go to bit.ly/AmayaFundraiser.
Employees at the Pasco School District transportation department also were mourning Amaya’s passing. He worked for the department as a bus driver, said Anna Tensmeyer, the district’s director of public affairs.
The district offered counseling and other resources to employees in the department as the news came out on Monday.
“Our hearts are broken at PSD transportation,” a Facebook commenter said. “We love Arthur. Prayers for his family.”
Police are continuing to investigate the shooting and are asking anyone with information to contact police using the non-emergency line at 509-628-0333. They can also leave an anonymous tip at www.kpdtips.com.
Violence in the area
The neighborhood between WinCo Foods on Clearwater Avenue and Lawrence Scott Park on Canal Drive has seen several gang-related shootings this year before Amaya was killed.
Then on June 5, gang members opened fire on rivals on the 6000 block of Canal Drive.
On June 30, Aaron Lighthall, 25, allegedly opened fire on a truck on Clearwater Avenue and one person was cut by flying debris.
Amaya’s death was the 10th homicide of the year in Benton County, tying this year as the second most deadly year in recent history.