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Deputy shot, hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries Wednesday morning

by EMRY DINMAN
Staff Writer | November 18, 2020 6:19 AM

UPDATE: The injured deputy has been identified as Jeff Wentworth, 41, of Ephrata. He was released from the hospital at about 3 a.m.

MOSES LAKE - A Grant County Sheriff’s deputy was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries after Jesus Torres, 24, reportedly shot him in the foot while fleeing law enforcement early Wednesday morning.

Torres, of Royal City, was suspected of robbing two Moses Lake businesses with an AR-15-type rifle Tuesday afternoon, including Hawk Fuel and a small grocery store located in the area of West Broadway Avenue and South Ash Street, said Kyle Foreman, public information officer for the sheriff’s office.

Moses Lake police identified Torres soon afterward, according to a MLPD social media post, as he was caught on surveillance camera and began searching for him.

Shortly after midnight, a deputy reportedly spotted Torres approaching Ephrata on state Route 282.

Torres allegedly opened fire on pursuing deputies, striking one in the foot after a bullet passed through the patrol vehicle, Foreman said. Torres reportedly continued to fire at deputies as they pursued him to state Route 17 and Road 19 Northeast, where deputies performed a pit maneuver and disabled his vehicle.

Torres reportedly surrendered to law enforcement officers and was taken into custody without further incident. The wounded deputy, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to Columbia Basin Hospital for his injuries.

Torres has previously faced charges in connection with a 2018 drive-by shooting, though assault and drive-by charges were dismissed with prejudice last year after Torres pleaded guilty to lesser drug possession charges. Torres and his 22-year-old brother Jonathan, who is currently serving a 20 year sentence after pleading guilty to murdering his father in 2018, were also previously found not guilty in connection to a 2017 shooting.