Jury convicts Rigoberto Vazquez in 2013 Quincy gang shooting
July 24, 2015
Officers were alerted by ShotSpotter that multiple shots had been fired in the area.
EPHRATA - The man charged with first-degree assault stemming from a gang-related shooting in Quincy in 2013 was convicted by a jury late last week of second-degree assault.
Rigoberto I. Vazquez, 26, of Quincy, was originally charged with two counts of first-degree assault, and those charges were amended to include firearm enhancements. Prosecutors also filed additional charges of riot while armed (with a firearm enhancement) and reckless endangerment before Vazquez's trial.
The jury reached its verdict last Friday. The jury was unable to unanimously agree on a guilty or not guilty verdict for both assault charges, and instead found Vazquez guilty of two counts of the lesser crime of second-degree assault, both with firearm enhancements. The jury also deemed Vazquez guilty of riot while armed with a firearm enhancement and of reckless endangerment.
According to Grant County Prosecutor Garth Dano, the jury was hung up at 10-2 in favor of guilt in the first-degree assault charges. Two of the jurors, he said, felt they couldn't find that Vazquez intended to inflict great bodily harm in the incident. The jury unanimously agreed on a guilty verdict for the lesser assault charges with firearm enhancements.
Dano said Vazquez could face up to eight years and three months of confinement, the maximum sentence for his convictions. The prosecutor's office will seek the maximum sentence, Dano said.
Vazquez's sentencing hearing was scheduled for Aug. 3.
Dano expressed thanks to Quincy police officers who were involved in the case, as well as the jurors and Kevin McCrae, the deputy prosecutor who primarily tried the case.
"I'm happy with the conviction," Dano said. "I would have liked to have had all the jurors return a verdict (of guilty) on assault-one, which would have been more time, but I understand that the (surveillance) video didn't show the whole story."
Police reportedly responded to shots fired between two homes on C Street in Quincy June 22, 2013. Officers were notified by a 9-1-1 caller and a gunshot location system called ShotSpotter.
A victim, identified as Humberto Davalos, 28, was shot in the leg and transported to Quincy Valley Hospital, records show.
Police were called to 23 C St. SE just before midnight June 22, 2013, according to Quincy Police Department records. The residence reportedly was that of the deceased Edwin Davalos, who was murdered about three years prior to the incident and was a gang member.
Officers were alerted by ShotSpotter that multiple shots had been fired in the area. ShotSpotter is an acoustic monitoring device that uses sensors, which are placed throughout Quincy, to locate where gunshots are fired, records state.
According to police records, the shooting incident may have been the boiling point of altercations between rival gangs earlier that day.
Prior to the incident that evening, police were dispatched to the scene of a disturbance that involved a known gang member being jumped by three people. Later the same evening, police reportedly responded to and broke up a verbal disturbance at 102 C St. SE. While QPD officers were at that location, one of the involved people reportedly was yelling he was going to stock up on guns and ammunition.
An eye witness to the shooting told police she heard people yelling and saw a male standing in the street outside the 23 C St. and 102 C St. locations. The witness said the male in the street, later identified as Vazquez, produced a gun and then a gun was produced by someone in the crowd of people at 102 C St.
Bullet holes and fired bullets were located in several residence walls and a van in the area, records say. The locations reportedly indicated several shots were fired from both sides.
ShotSpotter also detected multiple gunshots fired from both involved parties, but it was unable to determine who shot first, according to police records.
The witness was later able to identify Vazquez as one of the shooters, according to police records.
Another witness told police Vazquez pointed a gun at another man's head.
Police also seized a video surveillance system as part of a warrant. According to police records, the footage made it "clearly viewable" that Vazquez brandished a handgun and fired numerous rounds. The video reportedly did not show the receiving end of the gunfire.
Vazquez was arrested for first-degree assault.
Following Friday's verdict in Vazquez's case, Dano said the prosecutor's office is concerned about gang violence in the area and is working to remedy the problem.
"We are committed to keep on working toward dealing with the gang violence problem," Dano said. "We can't have shootouts occurring in the streets - any streets in this county. It's a big concern to us and a big priority of the office."
Vazquez's maximum sentence for his convictions is more than eight years of confinement. He could have faced between 12 and 13 years of prison time if he had been convicted of the original first-degree assault charges, Dano said.Columbia Basin Herald