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Suspects reportedly gang members

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SEATTLE — Two men believed to be responsible for the

shooting death of North Bend resident Jorge Temblador-Topete were charged

Oct. 25 with two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of

first-degree assault.

The charges, filed in Superior Court by the King

County Prosecutor's Office, state that gang members Emmanuel

Grande-Martinez, 22, and Elmer Cisneros-Alvarado, 20, planned the Sept.

24 shooting that resulted in Temblador-Topete's death. Grande-Martinez

allegedly used a 9 mm Glock semiautomatic pistol to shoot

Temblador-Topete, as well as 21-year-old Fall City resident Julio

Castaneda-Ramos and two sisters, ages 14 and 15.

The sisters attend Mount Si High School.

The group was driving to a dance in Seattle and stopped at a red light

at the intersection of Fourth Avenue South and Airport Way. According

to prosecutors, Cisneros-Alavarado confessed to being the driver of the

car that pulled up behind the Valley residents at the red light. After

deciding the Oldsmobile Cutlass belonged to a rival gang member, witnesses

said Grande-Martinez jumped out and fired several shots into the other car.

Castaneda-Ramos suffered gunshot wounds to his chest, arm and

leg, the 14-year-old girl was shot in the head, and the 15-year-old was shot

in the hand which led to the first-degree assault charges against

Grande-Martinez and Cisneros-Alvarado. A fifth passenger in the car,

previously reported as the girls' mother, was not injured.

Temblador-Topete was shot in the head and died the next morning

at Harborview Hospital Medical Center, according to hospital officials.

The three survivors have since been released from the hospital.

The two suspects face another first-degree murder count in the

Sept. 23 slaying of John Diklich. Diklich, 18, was found dead from

gunshot wounds to the head and torso in an ally near the 9000 block of 16th

Street Southwest, in Seattle.

Police reports state that both suspects belong to an

El Salvadoran gang called Mara Salvatrucha and Diklich was

a possible member in a rival gang called "Guero."

Witnesses reported that before Grande-Martinez shot and killed Diklich,

he told fellow gang members "let's go get some fools," which is a term for

rival gang members. The next night, Sept. 24, witnesses said

Grande-Martinez and Cisneros-Alvarado stated they would "go take care of" another

situation.

Police reports state that the killings in late September appear to have

been part of a four-month shooting spree, during which Grande-Martinez

and Cisneros-Alvarado targeted several rival gang members on June 11,

Aug. 27 and Sept. 18. None of those shootings were fatal.

Grande-Martinez, an El Salvadorian illegal immigrant, was being

held at the Immigration and Naturalization Service office in Seattle for his

fifth deportation when he was arrested last week. Cisneros-Alvarado was

arrested the same week. Bail has been set at $1 million for both men, who will

face arraignment Nov. 1.

A third Mara Salvatrucha gang member, Jose Anaya, was also

arrested last week in connection to the shootings but had yet to be

formally charged as the Valley Record went to press.

The gun police said was used to kill Temblador and Diklich and

wound the others — a Glock 9 mm semi-automatic handgun — was found and

determined to have been used in other shootings this summer.

Although witnesses told police the Sept. 24 shooting was

gang-related, it's still not clear if any of the

Valley residents had gang ties or if it was a case of mistaken identity.

Many who knew Temblador-Topete said he was not a gang

member.

"We know he wasn't in a gang. He's only lived up here a few

years, and he was working at Arby's (in North Bend)," said Jeannene

Ramos, wife of Temblador-Topete's cousin. "He had lots of friends and was

a happy person and very outgoing."

Ramos explained that the reason why Temblador-Topete was in the

car was because he simply needed a ride to the dance that his friends

were headed to.

"It was a spur-of-the-moment thing that he decided to go to

this dance, and he found a ride with the other victims" she said, adding that

he had asked other friends for a ride before meeting up with

Castaneda-Ramos. "He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, basically."

The assistant manager of Arby's in North Bend, where

Temblador-Topete worked, said her employee never mentioned having gang ties.

"He never discussed anything like that with us. He never mentioned

any gang affiliation whatsoever," Isabelle Davenport said. "I think he was

too nice to be involved with something like that."

She described Temblador-Topete as a happy, responsible, hard

worker who was never late and never missed a day of work.

"Jorge was a wonderful guy," Davenport recalled. "A lot of the

employees were devastated to hear what happened to him, including me. A

couple of the crew members couldn't come to work for a couple days after that."

Arby's has provided counseling for its employees, who made and

hung up a plaque in the store in honor of Temblador-Topete.

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