QUINCY — Authorities continue to search for a 20-year-old Quincy man suspected of shooting another man in the stomach multiple times at an orchard west of Quincy on Friday morning.
Arnoldo Cazares Mendoza is wanted on suspicion of first-degree assault, but that charge could become more serious, said Kyle Foreman, spokesman for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.
The victim was still alive when he was flown to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, but his condition is currently unknown. His name has not been released.
“We think we know who he is,” Foreman said. But authorities are still trying to sort out what happened before the shooting, and how the two men know each other.
Deputies were called to the shooting at about 7:30 a.m., in the 20300 block of Highway 28 West, about two miles west of Quincy, where they found the victim shot in an orchard.
Witnesses said Mendoza fled in a pickup truck, which was found a short time later in another orchard near Roads 9 and U Northwest. Officers from several police agencies surrounded the orchard, and used tracking dogs and a U.S. Border Patrol helicopter and Washington State Patrol airplane, but were unable to locate Mendoza.
“What we have is about 100 farmworkers who were onsite when this happened,” Foreman said. “It took us a while to figure out which ones were close by, or had information that was important to the investigation.”
They have now identified about 15 people who directly saw what happened, or who knew something that could be important to the case.
“We’re interviewing as many people as we can to find out what led up to this, or what prompted it,” he said.
Mendoza is considered armed and dangerous. Authorities are looking in several places where they believe he may have gone. Anyone who sees him or knows where he may be is asked to call 911.