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Spokane

Cops Say Victim Let Killers In Neighbors Suspected Drug Dealing At Home

Fri., June 28, 1996

A man was shot to death early Thursday in a northeast Spokane home that neighbors believe doubled as a drug den.

The name of the 20-year-old victim wasn’t released by police, in part because detectives suspected they had been given an alias.

A woman with an infant who lived with the man told police she heard an argument and then gunfire inside the rented house at 1903 N. Regal.

She called police at 3:50 a.m.

At least two men were involved in the killing, possibly more, said Sgt. Jim Lundgren. No arrests had been made as of Thursday night.

Police said the victim, who died in a bedroom, apparently let the killers in.

Neighbors suspected drug dealing was going on at the house, because it drew a stream of visitors day and night. People would pull up in cars, go inside for a short time and then leave.

“We knew something like this was going to happen,” said a woman who lives nearby.

The woman said she reported the suspicious activity to police prior to the killing.

Investigators declined to confirm whether drug dealing was a motive in the shooting.

The home is located near Spokane Community College in Garry Park, a neighborhood with neatly trimmed lawns and well-tended flower beds.

While police investigated the case, two friends of the victim showed up and talked with detectives.

“He was a good person. He didn’t really mess with anybody,” said one of the friends, William Depriest. “He never gave anybody any reason to do anything wrong to him.”

Depriest said the victim, whom he identified as Chris, lived in Spokane for more than a decade.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: HOMICIDE IN 1996 Thursday’s shooting was the 10th homicide in the city of Spokane this year. Following is a list of the first nine. There were a record 24 murders in Spokane in 1995. Jan. 15: Career criminal Vito J. Tombari, 40, was shot to death outside his apartment near Browne’s Addition. Police arrest Kenneth D. Gooch and Susan D. Boatright in the slaying. Feb. 6: Marie Van Slate, 49, was gunned down at the Ridpath Hotel, where she worked as a waitress. Another man was wounded in the shooting. The gunman, 78-year-old Orville Sassen, later killed himself. March 14: Danielle Jean Shinaver, 25, was found bludgeoned to death inside her lower South Hill apartment. No one has been charged. March 27: Samuel Roberson, 20, was stabbed to death at the Del Mar Apartments during a fight. Police arrested Daniel Ogle and charged him with murder. April 7: Montana resident Donna Lynn Harris, 40, was found with her throat slashed near railroad tracks in east Spokane. Police have no suspects. April 28: David E. Witt, 27, was shot and killed outside the Mid City Food Mart after getting into a fistfight with another man. Police arrested Lanolan Anderson. May 14: Larry Boulger, 38, was discovered shot to death on his couch in east Spokane. Venice L. Wilbert faces a first-degree murder charge. May 20: David D. Miller, 47, was stabbed to death in his home in north Spokane. His roommate, Brian Grimm, is charged with second-degree murder. June 9: Shane Lee Walker, 33, was stabbed to death as he tried to break into an apartment on West 10th. No charges are anticipated against the 14-year-old boy who attacked Walker.

This sidebar appeared with the story: HOMICIDE IN 1996 Thursday’s shooting was the 10th homicide in the city of Spokane this year. Following is a list of the first nine. There were a record 24 murders in Spokane in 1995. Jan. 15: Career criminal Vito J. Tombari, 40, was shot to death outside his apartment near Browne’s Addition. Police arrest Kenneth D. Gooch and Susan D. Boatright in the slaying. Feb. 6: Marie Van Slate, 49, was gunned down at the Ridpath Hotel, where she worked as a waitress. Another man was wounded in the shooting. The gunman, 78-year-old Orville Sassen, later killed himself. March 14: Danielle Jean Shinaver, 25, was found bludgeoned to death inside her lower South Hill apartment. No one has been charged. March 27: Samuel Roberson, 20, was stabbed to death at the Del Mar Apartments during a fight. Police arrested Daniel Ogle and charged him with murder. April 7: Montana resident Donna Lynn Harris, 40, was found with her throat slashed near railroad tracks in east Spokane. Police have no suspects. April 28: David E. Witt, 27, was shot and killed outside the Mid City Food Mart after getting into a fistfight with another man. Police arrested Lanolan Anderson. May 14: Larry Boulger, 38, was discovered shot to death on his couch in east Spokane. Venice L. Wilbert faces a first-degree murder charge. May 20: David D. Miller, 47, was stabbed to death in his home in north Spokane. His roommate, Brian Grimm, is charged with second-degree murder. June 9: Shane Lee Walker, 33, was stabbed to death as he tried to break into an apartment on West 10th. No charges are anticipated against the 14-year-old boy who attacked Walker.



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