SOAP LAKE - A man who opened fire on law enforcement near Soap Lake in 2018 pleaded guilty Monday morning.
Alejandro Rodriguez, 28, pleaded guilty in Grant County Superior Court to two counts of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon enhancement, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, custodial assault and first-degree attempted unlawful possession of a firearm.
Rodriguez was facing attempted murder charges but the charges were amended as part of a plea agreement. The custodial assault conviction is from a December 2018 assault of a corrections deputy inside a courtroom.
Prosecutors are recommending Rodriguez be sentenced to 418 months, close to 35 years, in prison. The date of is sentencing hearing was not available Monday.
On Aug. 19, law enforcement had gone to an address in the 100 block of Adrian Avenue Northeast in Lakeview in an effort to locate an armed robbery suspect. Two Ephrata police officers, Sgt. Ryan Harvey and officer Bill Roberts, contacted a woman at the home while Grant County deputy Scott Granger and Soap Lake officer Nic Diaz pulled up to the back of the home through an alley, according to court records.
The woman led officers to a shed at the back of the property where officers were told a man was in the shed. Police say the man was wearing clothing similar to the suspect from the Ephrata armed robbery.
But it was Rodriguez who later exited the shed. Officers began yelling for Rodriguez to stop but he walked away toward a junk pile.
“Rodriguez reached toward his waist as the officers yelled for him to stop and show his hands,” stated Capt. Dave Sands, the commander of the Central Basin Investigation Team that investigated the shooting. “As the officers attempted to get him to stop, Rodriguez took cover behind the junk pile and shots were exchanged between Rodriguez and the officers.”
Detectives say Rodriguez shot at both groups of officers, two in the alley and two approaching from the main house.
Officer Diaz told investigators he heard shots and one round went between him and deputy Granger, striking a patrol vehicle.
Three officers – Harvey, Roberts and Granger – returned fire on Rodriguez, who was shot in the leg before surrendering. He was treated at Samaritan Hospital before being booked into Jail.
A 9mm pistol with one round in the chamber, along with an empty magazine, were recovered near the junk pile Rodriguez had hid behind, according to investigators. Bullets were recovered from a home across the alley and from a motorhome where one of the officers took cover.
Rodriguez was held in jail without bail since his arrest. On Dec. 11, 2018 during a courtroom hearing, Rodriguez punched a corrections deputy as he entered the courtroom. Rodriguez tried to take the deputy’s gun before another deputy used a Taser on Rodriguez.