PROSSER — Former Sunnyside Police Explorer, Antonio Bustamante, 24, is recovering from a gunshot wound received early Monday morning, Aug. 7. Bustamante, a Prosser police officer of one year, and an unnamed partner, responded to an attempted burglary call at the Canyon Street apartments, off Anna Street in Prosser.
After a day long search and investigation, Kennewick Police arrested 19-year-old Abdiel Benjamin Vargas.
The city released a statement just after 5 a.m., Monday morning, reporting two of its officers answered a call in the dense residential area of the small community, just after 1 a.m.
According to the release, “. . . shots were fired by the individual at the officer with one round striking the officer in the leg area.”
Details of the response and shooting scenario were amended early Monday afternoon. “Further investigation indicates an uninvolved tenant. . . apparently also received several gunshot wounds, just as the officers arrived.” A later update reported Bustamante’s injuries involved his foot.
The wounded officer was transported to Prosser Memorial Health with a non-life-threatening wound and later released. The wounded tenant’s injuries were also described as “non-life threatening.”
Following the officer shooting, an all interagency call went out for help.
Residents of the southwest sister streets abutting the Canyon Drive apartments, found themselves waking up to a low flying Benton County Sheriff search and rescue helicopter, repeatedly, during a sweep of the area, beginning at 5 a.m.
State Route 22 just above Canyon Drive was closed.
During the altercation’s early moments, an interagency SWAT team was deployed at the bottom of the Canyon Street apartments, calling for the suspect to come out. The SWAT team was replaced later in the morning by the Benton County Mobile Dispatch Unit.
Following an intense search and investigation, Vargas was arrested in a vehicle off 395 and Clearwater in Kennewick. He is jailed in Benton County and is charged with 1st Degree Assault of an Officer.
*This story was updated August 6 at 3:30 p.m.