No charges for suspected shooter in Renton homicide, ‘self-defense’ cited

Court documents show that King County prosecutors are not planning to file charges against the suspect accused of shooting and killing a man in a Renton parking lot last month, citing self-defense.

Renton Police were called to the El Muchacho Alegre restaurant on May 18 in response to a shooting incident.

Upon arrival, officers discovered the victim, Elmer Salazar-Rojas, in his vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds. Unfortunately, Salazar-Rojas died of his injuries at the scene.

According to court documents, the shooting occurred after a group of men violently attacked Salazar-Rojas' half-brother, who was playing music at the restaurant.

The attack took place when the half-brother went to retrieve a guitar from his car.

He and another musician had played more than 10 songs for a group of men sitting in the restaurant.

When they saw him outside with the guitar, they asked him to play more songs, but he declined. 

Police say surveillance video showed six of the eight men violently punching and beating him. One suspect stole his driver’s license and threatened to kill him if he reported the attack to police. He suffered fractures of the right nasal bone, perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone and the anterior nasal spine. He ran back inside the restaurant to escape.

Salazar-Rojas, who had witnessed the attack, then drove his car towards the group. Police say he then turned around and drove back at them, at which point one of the individuals opened fire, resulting in his death. The suspects fled the scene.

Renton police released photos of four of the individuals involved, and received multiple tips from the public.

However, Salazar-Rojas' half-brother could only identify one of the assailants, who was seen wearing a brown sweatshirt.

The identified suspect, 35-year-old Juan Ayon-Gonzalez, was charged this week with second-degree assault, and a $50,000 warrant has been issued for his arrest. 

His last known address was in Olympia. 

He has a prior conviction for fourth-degree assault and third-degree malicious mischief in 2019.

A GoFundMe has been started to help Elmer’s family with expenses.


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