Julie Humphreys, 509.625.5868
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 4:28 p.m.
Drive-by shootings on the increase in Spokane, SPD working cases diligently, seeking assistance from witnesses and the community
Saturday evening February 20th shortly after 11pm, officers responded to a report of a shooting in the 1700 block of E. 34th Ave. 5 shell casings were located in the middle of the street. No victims were located nor did any subsequently call police. SPD was unable to locate any witnesses but have identified several video cameras in the neighborhood they hope will help in the investigation.
This shooting is one of 26 this year. 7 of them have been classified as drive-by shootings but it is believed there are more based on circumstances and factors involved in these incidents - including uncooperative victims and witnesses, or lack of a vehicle used in the commission of the crime.
The commonalities in many, but not all, of these shootings include; they appear to be gang related, many of those involved are believed to be juveniles, neither witnesses or victims are forthcoming with information, and a number of the shootings are happening in specific pockets of Spokane.
SPD Major Crimes and the Safe Street Task Force (consisting of SPD, SCSO, FBI, and Washington State DOC) are working collaboratively on the shootings, leveraging all resources to solve these cases. SPD has increased patrol efforts to affect crime before it happens in areas where drive-by shootings have been common. Additionally, SPD has outreached with community partners, parents, and teachers to educate young people about the dangers of gang association and to proactively identify and help young people at risk of gang involvement.
SPD stresses the biggest inhibitor to solving these crimes is a lack of cooperation from witnesses and victims. If you have any knowledge of a shooting that may help solve and stop such crimes to make the community safer for all, you are urged to contact Crime Check at 456-2233. You can also submit a tip anonymously through the Safe Street Task Force website at stopspokanegangs.org. Educational information on gang activity and prevention can also be found on the site.
Officer John O'Brien