A Washington State man was shot dead after he endangered the wrong child at a local dog park, getting the surprise of his life when the youngster’s father ended the threat with a legally owned firearm.
The action went down last weekend in Yakima, a city located around 60 miles southeast of Mount Rainier when the assailant, who was identified as 22-year-old Daniel Ortega, began acting erratically towards the child at the Randall Park Dog Park, prompting parkgoers to place 911 calls to local police.
After repeated calls for Ortega to leave the child alone, and attempts to de-escalate the situation, the father, a 28-year-old man, “protected his child from the threat” by shooting the attacker dead.
According to a report by the Yakima Herald, “Several people called 911 to report a man acting erratically, according to police. Ortega approached a man and his child, whom YPD Chief Matt Murray said was 5 or 6 years old and tried to take the child. The child’s father told Ortega to leave his family alone, and when that failed to stop Ortega, he shot Ortega, killing him.”
Chief Murray said “narcotics appear to be a factor in the Randall Park incident,” the outlet reported.
“On 02/05/2023 at 2:30 PM, multiple people called 911 reporting that a man had arrived at the Randall Park Dog Park acting erratically. 911 callers indicated that the subject who was acting erratically encountered a man who was with his young child at the park. The erratic subject attempted to endanger the life of the small child with his words and actions, at which point the child’s father protected his child from the threat,” the Yakima Police Department said in a statement posted to its Facebook page.
“The child’s father gave the erratic subject verbal commands to leave his family alone, while he attempted to leave the park,” the statement reads. “After attempts to verbally de-escalate the incident failed, the child’s father, a 28-year-old Yakima man, discharged his legally owned firearm in defense of his child. The incident resulted in the death of 22-year-old Daniel Ortega of Yakima.”
Terrence Niles, a friend of the deceased asked, “Was it justifiable? Or did my friend get killed for his mental stability?”
“We need more information about him supposedly putting the child in danger,” he said.
(Video: YouTube/KAPP-KVEW Local News)
“He was a beautiful soul brought around by dark things, you know?” Niles added. “How do we get to this point? How does he end up dying all by himself?”
Niles stopped short of blaming the father who shot his friend, stating that he doesn’t know the details about what exactly happened.
“I don’t know how to feel about that because if that was my situation, I would defend myself the same,” he said.
“We are seeing an escalation of violence in connection with the behavior,” Chief Murray said. “I don’t know why it seems to be so. Addictions have been around for a long time, but we are being confronted with a larger issue.”
The Yakima County prosecutor’s office will decide whether charges are merited.
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