Sirens & Gavels

Homicide case 'not a simple investigation'

Witnesses to Spokane’s only homicide this year share a common theme, police say: All were there, but all say they know nothing about the early morning shooting that left a man dead in an alley.

Six weeks after John S. “Q” Williams, 38, was killed outside a birthday celebration attended by Atlantic Drive Crips gang members, four men have been charged with drug or gun crimes connected to the shooting, but police haven’t identified the killer.

“This is not a simple investigation,” said Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department.

Those arrested include Eric Burton Jr., (right) and Antonio E. Cook, Jr. (left).

A similar gang-related homicide in 2007 ended in an unusual plea deal that gave the alleged shooter credit for about a year served in the county jail and a conviction for manslaughter after a jury couldn’t reach a verdict. (Read about here.)

Details in newly filed court documents reveal similar problems for investigators trying to solve the city’s latest gang-related homicide: uncooperative witnesses who have criminal backgrounds, gang loyalties, a disdain for police and a fear of retaliation.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage: Police find gun used in slaying

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