Yakima teen charged for Rimrock Lake shooting

Camper from Kent shot in the abdomen

— A 17-year-old Yakima boy is in jail, facing 14 counts of first-degree assault, possession of a stolen firearm and three counts of second-degree malicious mischief charges.

Kyler Austin Gunnoe was in Yakima County Superior Court yesterday for a preliminary hearing. His bail was set at $250,000.

He will be arraigned Aug. 3.

He is accused of shooting 31-year-old Gustavo C. Chavez of Kent on June 25, records show.

There were 13 other campers, including eight from Chicago, Ill., ranging in age from 3 to 44, listed as victims, records show.

The victims were camping at the peninsula area on the southeast corner of Rimrock Lake, records show.

Just before 2 a.m., witnesses heard gunshots. Chavez was struck in the abdomen and three vehicles were damaged by bullets, records show.

A camp trailer, owned by Chavez, and a tent at the site, were also hit, records show.

Yakima County Sheriff’s Office deputies were alerted to the shooting. Their investigation resulted in the recovery of bullet casings and a Hi-Point 9mm rifle on a hillside about 180 feet from the campsite, records show.

The gun belonged to Tammy Gunnoe, 46, of Yakima, records show. She reported the gun stolen nine days prior.

A woman living in the same neighborhood as the Gunnoe’s called deputies two days after the shooting, stating she had information.

She told deputies Kyler Gunnoe and two other teens were camping at Rimrock Lake when the shooting took place, records show.

Deputies contacted Tammy Gunnoe on July 7, learning her son was at the lake for an overnight camping trip June 24-25, records show.

She provided deputies with the names of three other teenagers with her son, as well as the name of one’s mother. That mother drove the teens to the lake and picked them up the following morning, records show.

The next day, deputies spoke to Clarita Salas, 42, and her 16-year-old daughter. They confirmed the teenagers’ whereabouts the night of the shooting, records show.

The girl told deputies she went to bed prior to Kyler and another boy leaving their campsite with a rifle, records show. She said she awoke to the sound of gunfire and the boys ran into her tent in a panic, records show.

The boys told her they thought they may have shot someone, records show.

The gun was no longer in the boys’ possession at that time, the girl told deputies.

The teenagers looked for the gun, but could not find it, the girl said.

Justin Moose, 18, was camping with the teens. He told deputies he believed the rifle Gunnoe had with him the night of the shooting belonged to Tammy Gunnoe, records show.

Jackson Ault, 20, was with Gunnoe at the time of the shooting, records show.

He told deputies they entered a large campsite and Gunnoe rifled through coolers to steal alcohol. Gunnoe later went back to “spy on the campsite,” and perched above it, Ault told deputies.

When Gunnoe began shooting at the campsite, Ault said he told him to stop.

“He just kept shooting it,” records show.

A car alarm was triggered and someone began yelling; Gunnoe continued to fire the rifle, records show.

Ault told deputies he believed Gunnoe fired the gun 12 times, records show. He also said the pair watched them recover the gun.

When deputies interviewed Gunnoe on July 14, he said he consumed alcohol and “blacked out” on the night of the shooting, but believed he accidentally shot into the campground, records show.


Comments are subject to moderator review and may not appear immediately on the site.

Please read our commenting policy before posting.

Any comment violating the site's commenting guidelines will be removed and the user could be banned from the site.

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment