‘It’s gone too far,’ Spokane city leaders propose plans to curb rising shootings

SPOKANE, Wash — There have been six shootings since the start of April, according to the Spokane Police Department.

“We heard ‘pop, pop, pop’, the speed of a vehicle heading North on Post, and then the screeching of tires heading east on Augusta,” said Deadra Price, who woke up to a body on the street in front of her home, Tuesday morning.

The mother of a North Central student recognized the victim.

“He was a frequent customer that would come in. Hey, good morning, how are you doing? And then to realize that it was somebody I would interact with every day before was kind of scary,” she said.

Price is asking for a solution.

“It seems like every day now I’m hearing about somebody being shot or a drive-by,” she said. “It’s gone too far and they need to find some way to get all these guns off the street from people that shouldn’t have them.”

The Spokane Police Department admits it’s not that simple.

“There’s a variety of reasons that can’t be pinpointed to just one factor,” said Cpl. Nick Briggs.

Mayor Nadine Woodward is in the early stages of forming a task force with the Spokane Police Department.

“We need to get on top of this for sure and find out why we’re seeing this increase and what we can do,” Mayor Woodward said. “Why are we seeing this uptick in shootings? Is it drug-related, gang-related, is it felons, more felons getting access to guns?”

City Council President Breean Beggs is also proposing a task force, called the “Justice Task Force.” It would include the mayor’s office, other city leaders and community members.

“Bringing everyone together, both police and judges, and public defenders and prosecutors and community members, you can come up with a plan to do that and focus on those resources,” he said. “But if everyone is doing it on their own, you don’t get anywhere.”

The proposal for the task force is set to go to a vote in early May.

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