Spokane Gang Violence On The Rise - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Gang Violence On The Rise

SPOKANE, Wash - In the wake of two violent gang-related shootings in as many weeks, Spokane Police say gang violence has become more of a problem in recent years and they've seen a spike in cases lately.

"Generally speaking gang violence is directed at other gang members, and it's something we respond to very quickly as you saw this weekend, and as you saw New Years Eve," Spokane Police Captain John Scalise said. "However the real tragedy of gang-on-gang violence a lot of times is that collateral damage where somebody not involved could become a victim."

Two men were arrested over the weekend after an early-morning shooting Saturday at a home near Liberty & Lidgerwood. Danial Dublin, 33, and Phillip Ruiz, 23, are in jail charged with assault in the shooting, in which two people who were shot went to the hospital in critical condition, and a third was not shot but also suffered injuries.

That shooting came on the heels of a deadly New Years Eve gang shooting at a home near Spofford & Wall, in which Aaron Cummings, 27, died. Police arrested Louis Hanson, 27, in that case.

But the specific motives in both shootings remain under investigation.

"It's hard to pin down the motivation when you have gang-related violence, sometimes it's over drugs, sometimes it's over primacy in a particular area, sometimes it's just a personal beef between two people who happen to be gang members," Cpt. Scalise added.

Scalise now heads up the "Strategic and Tactical Operations Bureau" created as a result of reorganization within the department by new Chief Frank Straub.

The gang unit is just one part of the bureau, and Scalise said the important thing to remember is whenever violence like this happens, the gang unit and Major Crimes Team will work around the clock until whoever is responsible is in jail.

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