Connell police investigate first murder in nearly 20 years

<p>Julio Cesar Hernandez</p>

Julio Cesar Hernandez

The City of Connell has its first murder in nearly 20 years.

Police are searching for a man accused of killing his ex-wife's boyfriend at an apartment complex last night.

The suspect has been identified as 40 year-old Julio Cesar Hernandez.

The victim has been identified as 30 year-old Saul Ramos Arrazate.

Officers say Hernandez is armed and dangerous.

Amber Mozzone moved into the Pioneer Park Apartment complex in Connell last night.

She got her keys, went to her room, then a couple minutes later noticed police had swarmed the complex.

"We were unpacking everything into the apartment and we had noticed that we seen the police lights" said Mozzone.

Just a couple units away from Mozzone's new home, a murder had taken place.

Police believe Connell resident, 40 year-old Julio Hernandez, shot and killed his ex-wife's boyfriend, Saul Arrazate.

"It's scary" said Veronica Mendiola, resident.

Veronica Mendiola has lived in the complex for a year, she's even seen Hernandez around and says he's never caused any problems.

"He was always walking by here. But it's always been a safe place. There's no problems or anything like that. Nobody fighting" said Mendiola.

Here's what investigators believe happened:

Hernandez, who has two daughters with his ex-wife, went to the complex to drop the girls off.

But his ex-wife had left to pick the children up from Hernandez's house.

Police think when Hernandez got to the complex, he came face to face with Arrazate.

"It appears at this point, in some fit of rage, charged into the apartment, shot the gentlemen and then left" said Chief Mike Kessler, Connell Police Department.

Chief Kessler says murders in Connell don't happen often.

In fact, there are only six officers who patrol the city.

The last homicide here happened in 1994.

"Very rare. Very rare" said Chief Kessler.

Mozzone says despite last night's murder, she plans to stay put.

But she'll be extra careful to keep her son and daughter safe.

"I don't plan on uprooting my family just 'cuz of one incident especially if it hasn't happened in the last 20 years" said Mozzone.

Police say Hernandez took his two daughters with him when he left the complex.

They say he then dropped off the girls at a relative's home in Othello.

The girls are both safe.

Police say Hernandez was last seen driving a 1988 black Ford Mustang, with a Washington license plate 011UZQ.

If you see him or his car, you're asked to call 911.