By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Fights erupt after deadly shooting
An officer questions a motorist Friday night outside Arms Apartments after the deadly shooting.

It was a busy Labor Day weekend for McMinnville Police Department. Along with a fatal shooting and fights related to it, the department arrested four people driving while intoxicated over the holiday weekend.
“It was a rough weekend,” said McMinnville Police Lt. Mark Mara. “We got hit hard. Luckily, we had the manpower to deal with all that we had to deal with.”
On Friday night, the department held a saturated patrol in which seven extra officers were assigned to be on the roads actively looking for impaired drivers. However, the effort was derailed with a fatal shooting at Arms Apartments and the need for additional officers to help keep the peace there and at another apartment complex.
“We had a shooting at Arms Apartments,” said Mara. “The shift that was working could have survived working it by themselves, but luckily we had seven extra people who helped them contain that hostile environment. We had quite a few hostile-environment situations going on. Towns Edge had continuous fighting going on. Neighbors were having problems. We had to be present to try and calm everything down.”
No arrest has been made for the deadly shooting at Arms Apartments, according to McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton. Rufino "Junior" Sato, 28, was shot dead by Herbert Conley, 51, in the parking lot of Arms Apartments and police are investigating his claim of self-defense.
However, there was one arrest, that being Roman Couillard, the brother of the shooting victim. According to police, Couillard refused to settle down and was arrested for disorderly conduct.
The officers assigned to the saturated patrol became peacekeepers, says Mara.
“We were more trying to keep the peace,” he said. “A lot of people were affected by this shooting. People were talking and getting heated up about it."
Mara said because of the need for extra officers at other places, only 11 traffic stops were made during the course of the saturated patrol.
"We gave about seven tickets and four warnings during those stops," Mara said.
No DUI-related accidents or DUI-related arrests were made during Friday night’s saturated patrol. However, the department arrested four individuals over the three-day period for driving under the influence.
“I think this whole weekend just showed multi-agency cooperation,” said Mara. “We’ve always said the district attorney is available for callouts if we have someone who refuses to provide blood, if they are arrested for DUI. We, actually, had to utilize that. During the Labor Day weekend, from Friday through Monday, we did make four DUI arrests. We had one person who refused to provide a blood sample.”
McMinnville Police Department’s saturation operation is called “Be A Survivor: Get A Designated Driver” and receives funding from the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office to help pay the expense of saturation patrols.