'Code of Silence' Slowing Murder Investigation

Murder Investigation
Investigators believe the March 4 murder of Alonso Madrigal was committed by a gang from outside the Hermiston area.

The Hermiston police chief says the March 4 shooting death of a 23-year-old Umatilla man was gang related and a “code of silence” is making the case a difficult one.

HPD Chief Jason Edmiston said investigators believe the murder of Alonso Madrigal was committed by a “gang or gangs from outside the Hermiston area.” Edmiston added that investigators do not believe Madrigal was targeted for activity typically associated with gang behavior, such as territorial issues or drug trade.

“Based on what we know, we believe Alonso was murdered as a result of an ongoing dispute and it is our belief Alonso was not engaged in such criminal activity typically associated with gang behavior,” Edmiston said.

Madrigal was shot and killed on the night of March 4 in a neighborhood behind the 11th Street Market.

The chief went on to say they are confident there is a “contingent of people that know exactly what transpired on the night of March 4th, as it was not a random act of violence.”

Edmiston asked anyone with any information about the case to contact Capt. Travis Eynon at 541-667-5103.

“I stand firm in saying those responsible should be dealt with swiftly and firmly,” Edmiston said. “Hermiston is attractive because of our relatively low violent crime rate and our acceptance of diversity. This does not mean we have to cower to thugs who come to our city from other cities and commit crime. Members of the Hermiston Police Department are committed to aggressively seeking out those who engage in abhorrent behavior and hold them accountable.”

Edmiston provided an update on the murder investigation during Monday night’s Hispanic Advisory Committee meeting.