Neighbors in Moses Lake concerned by gang violence - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Neighbors in Moses Lake concerned by gang violence

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MOSES LAKE, Wash. -

One person is dead and the culprit is on the loose after a drive-by shooting Friday night in Moses Lake. The shooting happened near the intersection of Valley Road and Paxson Drive. Witnesses in the area say they heard multiple gunshots and the victim who was attacked veered off the road and crashed into a nearby house.

Little information has been released by the police department and the community is on edge. The shooting is one of at least seven in the area in the past nine months. The previous six drive-by shootings were all focused around the Larson area, a neighborhood of homes formerly belonging to the Larson Air Force Base.

"We had a gang member who was shot and killed by another gang member in February," says Kyle Foreman, a spokesman with the Grant County Sheriff's office. "And since then there have been six drive-by shootings in that area."

Annie Mix has lived in the Larson area for over a decade and she noticed the gang presence about five years ago, telling KHQ graffiti was getting bad, so she took matters into her own hands.

"I bought some paint and started painting it all over," says Mix. "And people said 'Well you better be careful, You could get killed doing that', and I just did it anyway and never had any trouble."

Graffiti was one thing, the growing violence is another, Mix says the shootings didn't seem to start until two years ago.

"It makes us mad, it makes us sad for the young people that this happens to and I think it makes a lot of people really afraid," says Mix.

Six times a year the Grant County Sheriff's Office hosts a town hall meeting. Mix says many of them bring in concerned locals wondering how to protect themselves from gangs and ultimately how to deal with the problem. Mix says it's not an easy problem to solve, and for the time being she's taking the necessary precautions by keeping her doors locked and her windows barred.

"I've lived in Wyoming and South Dakota, places where you never locked your doors, and compared to that....it's different," says Mix.

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