AMBER ALERT ISSUED – Suspect identified in fatal shooting outside West Richland elementary school

By on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

UPDATE 3:45 p.m. 4/23/24: Update from the West Richland Police Department: At approximately 3pm on Tuesday, April 23rd, the Oregon State Patrol located the subject vehicle driving southbound on Interstate 5, near Eugene, Oregon, and initiated a pursuit. The pursuit ended with OSP reporting that the suspect sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, with his current condition unknown. The 1-year-old child, Roman Santos, was taken safely into custody by OSP troopers.

This is a developing situation. More information will be released at a press conference scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, April 24th at 10am at the West Richland Police Department in the Noski Community Room.

UPDATE 12:45 p.m. 4/23/24: Benton County Chief Deputy Coroner Dennis Morris reports the first deceased person Monday’s incident in West Richland has been identified as Amber Rodriguez, 31. She is the ex-wife of the suspect, Elias Huizar.

The second person, according to Morris, is still at the scene of Huizar’s residence which is being controlled by the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab who is collecting evidence. Once they are done, the Benton County Coroner’s Office will be allowed to collect the second victim.

“We have no information on or for her at this time,” Morris said.

Autopsies are scheduled for this Friday at the Benton County Coroner’s facility.

UPDATE 10:17 a.m. 4/23/24: The Yakima Police Department said it’s aware of the murder allegations of Elias Huizar, an ex-officer (who left the department after receiving discipline in late 2021). The incidents in question occurred in West Richland, Washington, and the Yakima Police Department is assisting in any way we are able and requested.

“The tragedies we are learning about in West Richland are heartbreaking. Words cannot express the deep sympathy we feel for all affected by these terrible acts of violence,” Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray said. “We remain ready to assist in any way we are able.”

UPDATE 7 a.m. 4/23/24: Police in Portland, Oregon has advised the West Richland Police Department that suspect Elias Huizar was seen in Portland, Oregon overnight, possibly driving a black sedan. All resources are following up on this lead.

The West Richland Police Department will release additional information as it is confirmed.

UPDATE 6:30 a.m. 4/23/24: Last night, at approximately 9:45 pm, the Washington State Patrol, on behalf of the West Richland Police Department, issued an Amber Alert for 1-year-old Roman Huizar and a silver 2009 Toyota Corolla with Washington plates CBZ4745. It is believed that the 1-year-old was taken by Elias Huizar. The Amber Alert was extended from Washington to Oregon and it is alleged that Huizar is heading towards Mexico. Investigators believe that Huizar is armed and considered dangerous, and is likely to commit more crimes.

We are asking for the public’s help in locating Huizar.

Anyone who sees the vehicle or the suspect should call 911 and refer to the West Richland homicide case.

At this time, we don’t have any additional updates to provide.

UPDATE 8 p.m.: The West Richland Police Department reports that while serving a search warrant at the residence of homicide suspect Elias Huizar, WRPD detectives and partner agencies discovered a second crime scene. A second homicide victim was found inside the residence. No information about the victim’s identity is being released at this time, except to say that it is not Huizar but that the victim is a known associate of the suspect.

Investigators believe that Huizar is armed and considered dangerous, and is likely to commit more crimes.


WEST RICHLAND – The West Richland Police Department has identifed a person of interest following a fatal shooting Monday afternoon on the grounds of Wiley Elementary School.

The person of interest has been identified as Elias Huizar, 40. He fled the scene in a 2009 silver Toyota Corolla, Washington license plate CBZ4745. He is described as being 5’6″ tall and weighs approximately 170 pounds.

Anyone who knows his whereabouts or sees him should call 911 or the West Richland Police Department non-emergency number at 509-628-0333.

At 3:23 p.m., the West Richland Police Department responded to a shooting on the grounds of Wiley Elementary School in West Richland. One adult female was pronounced deceased at the scene outside of the school. There were no other casualties.

The West Richland Police Department believes at this time this is an isolated incident.

Photo of suspect Elias Huizar via West Richland Police Department

This story will be updated as further information is released.