One man was shot dead and three others were injured early Sunday morning as they were smoking outside a Sumner motel they were staying in while working on a construction project, according to Sumner police.
Officers responded to the Sumner Motor Inn in the 15400 block of Main Street at 12:32 a.m. to find a 23-year-old man dead and three other men with gunshot wounds.
The family of the deceased identified him as Rigoberto Rigo Daza of Madera, Calif.
Esveidyth Cortez, who was in one of the motel rooms at the time, heard gunshots and ran outside to find his cousin dying and his father injured, he said.
Daza traveled to Sumner with uncles and cousins about a week and a half ago to work on an extension of the local Costco Depot, Cortez said.
Two coworkers from Fresno, Calif., who also were injured in the shooting and Cortezs father were all stable, Cortez said.
They told Cortez that a man and a woman pulled up in a vehicle and the man offered to sell them drugs. When they declined, the car drove off and returned about five minutes later. The man got out, fired shots, and the pair fled, Cortez said.
I dont know why he was mad, he added.
Police were investigating and following up on every piece of information, Sumner spokeswoman Carmen Palmer said when asked about Cortezs account. They were working on getting suspect descriptions, but were told a black man and a white woman were involved, she said.
Police did not release further information Sunday.
Motel owner Charanjit Bassi said the violence is unprecedented for the business.
Ive been here 15 years, and nothing, he said.
Cortez remembers his cousin as a great dad who focused on both his immediate and extended family.
Daza is survived by his wife and a 1-year-old daughter, he said.
Quiet, honest, helpful, Cortez said about his cousin.
You would never see him get mad. He was there for you when you needed him.
Cortez said the Madera-based group was working Monday through Saturday for Span Construction and is regularly dispatched to jobs in other states.
Other than work, he (Daza) wouldnt have been here, he said.
The family and friends had been playing cards, a regular pastime on their construction trips, in one of the rooms after work Saturday night before the shooting, he said.
We stay together as a group, as workers, as a family, Cortez said. Taking care of each other, you know?
Its been that way for about 10 years.
Its all family here, he said.
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268