Shooting suspect found dead near Royal City

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | September 5, 2020 1:00 AM

ROYAL CITY — A man suspected of killing a coworker near Vantage was found dead Aug. 28 in an orchard north of Royal City. Ismael Garcia, 57, no address listed, apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a press release from the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office.

Garcia was sought in connection with a shooting at an orchard south of Vantage at about 1 p.m. Aug. 27. Garcia allegedly shot and wounded Ismael Suarez Serrano, no address listed, a crew chief for Auvil Fruit. Both Garcia and Suarez Serrano worked for Auvil Fruit, according to the KCSO press release.

Garica also allegedly shot at a coworker who witnessed the shooting, but the witness was unharmed. Garcia drove away from the scene in a company-owned pickup.

Suarez Serrano died before he could be airlifted for medical treatment.

Members of Garcia’s family contacted the sheriff’s office at about 3:30 p.m. Aug. 27 and said Garcia had called and told them he was on Frenchman Hills Road north of Royal City. The area was searched by Grant County Sheriff’s deputies and members of the Kittitas County Special Response Team. The truck was found abandoned near Road D Southwest, about five miles northwest of Royal City.

Searchers found Garcia’s body at about 6 a.m. Aug. 28, under a tarp in an orchard near where the truck was discovered. No information on a motive for the shooting was available.