Sgt. Terry Preuninger, PIO
Monday, September 9, 2019 at 3:45 p.m.
Spokane Police arrest a man for drive by shooting, and work with Homeland security who are investigating the suspect for attempting to obtain Fentanyl. Police are still looking for a potential victim who may have been assaulted and could have more information regarding the incident.
On Sunday September 8th at approximately 11:00 am Spokane Police Officers responded to the area of 2300 E. 1st on a report of a man holding a gun to a woman’s head and assaulting her. Witnesses reported hearing a gunshot prior to observing the assault. When officers arrived the suspect and woman were gone however an SPD Officer located a car fitting the description of the vehicle associated with the suspect in the original call near the gas station at 2nd and Thor. The officer found a man fitting the suspect description near the car. When the officer contacted him the male was slow to follow directions from the officer, and after looking like he might jump back in the car he changed his mind and locked it. The suspect was detained and later identified as 31 year old Ryan Whyte. Sitting on the back of the car clearly visible between the trunk and rear window was a spent 5.56 mm / .223 shell casing.
As officers collected information from witnesses they feared for the safety of the woman who had still not been located. Officers could not clearly see into the vehicle due to window tinting but could see a bulky object on the floor of the rear portion of the car. Due to the exigency created by not knowing the location or condition of the possible victim, officers looked in the car and trunk. They did not locate the female but observed the barrel of a rifle under a coat. Once the officers determined the woman was not in the car they then seized the vehicle pending a search warrant.
Officers at the scene of the original call who were interviewing witnesses found what they identified as a bullet strike on the ground.
Whyte was arrested for drive by shooting and booked into jail. SPD officers received information that Whyte was being investigated by Homeland Security related to the mailing of Fentanyl, agents from the Department of Homeland security are working on that investigation.
Officer John O'Brien