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Washington man killed by police had a history of violent crimes

Crime Watch

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McCAMMON — Prior to his death, a Richland, Washington man who fired at local authorities was wanted for attempted murder in Washington.

Buddy Byron McKenzie, 41, had been wanted by law enforcement in Yakima County, near Kennewick since he allegedly shot a woman earlier this month. On Wednesday, prior to the incident the resulted in his death, an award was offered for assistance in locating and capturing McKenzie.

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McKenzie shot a woman named Lupe Torres, 37, in the parking lot of Legends Casino Hotel in Toppenish, Washington, according to KIMA TV, who also reports that Torres is alive.

Yakima County Sheriff’s deputies responded to emergency calls regarding the alleged shooting in the early morning hours of Oct. 4, KIMA reported. Responding deputies located Torres at the scene and determined she had been shot in the head and torso.

Torres, an ex-girlfriend of McKenzie, according to the Yakima Herald, told deputies that McKenzie exited a vehicle, pointed a gun at her and fired, hitting her in the stomach. While she was on the ground, he fired a second shot, grazing Torres’ head, she told deputies.

Surveillance footage from the casino showed a man matching McKenzie’s description shooting Torres, the newspaper reported. She was transported to an area hospital via ambulance.

Following the attack, arrest warrants were issued with attached charges of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and second-degree unlawful firearm possession, the Yakima Herald reported.

As the search for McKenzie continued, a $750,000 award was offered for information leading to his arrest, KIMA reported.

RELATED | Man killed in officer-involved shooting was wanted for attempted murder, police say

It is not clear exactly when McKenzie arrived in Idaho, but on Wednesday afternoon he was reportedly involved in an exchange with Caribou County Sheriff’s deputies. During the exchange, he fired a gun at the deputies and fled in a vehicle, according to a release from the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office.

Caribou County deputies began their pursuit of McKenzie and they were joined by Bannock County deputies and Idaho State Police as they neared McCammon.

Officers successfully deployed tire spikes, but McKenzie continued the chase, riding on his rims, Yakima County sheriff’s spokesman Casey Schilperoort told the Yakima Herald.

When his vehicle finally did come to rest, McKenzie exited the vehicle and directed his firearm towards the police, Schilperoort told the Herald. At that time, officers fired their own weapons, striking and killing McKenzie.

Prior to the incident at the Legends Casino Hotel, McKenzie had numerous prior convictions, including felony harassment, violating protection orders, intimidating a witness and unlawful imprisonment.

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