December 23, 2008 in City

Shots fired into City Hall

Stricter security measures implemented after weekend incident
By The Spokesman-Review
Liz Kishimoto photo

Bullets penetrated a two-paned window on the second floor at Spokane City Hall. No one was injured when the six rounds were fired over the weekend.
(Full-size photo)

Map of this story's location

Clues sought

Investigators are asking anyone with information about shots fired into Spokane City Hall to call (509) 242-8477.

Six bullets fired into a second-story window at Spokane City Hall over the weekend prompted the mayor to immediately enact new security measures already planned at the historic building.

The shots were fired into a second-story window where engineering services, city projects and public works administration employees spend their days. No one was working there over the weekend, officials said.

The bullets blasted 2- to 6-inch-wide holes in the windows. Bullet fragments were found on the floor inside.

City spokeswoman Marlene Feist said the shooting is not the sole reason for increasing security at City Hall. The change has been under consideration for several months.

The weapon most likely was a handgun, officials said, but the final word will come from the Washington State Patrol crime lab.

The gun was fired from the Spokane Falls Boulevard side of the building, police said.

“It appears the gun was fired from the sidewalk into the windows,” Spokane police Detective Brian Hammond said.

“There’s no indication that anyone was being targeted,” Hammond added.

The second-floor area is mostly open with cubicles. Although workers were concerned, it was business as usual Monday, Feist said.

Starting Monday, people were asked to sign in and out of City Hall. Starting today, people will be able to access the building only through the Post Street doors on the first floor and through the skywalk entrance.

Mayor Mary Verner said the city has been working with the Police Department to determine how to improve security.

“Those shots, they were wake-up shots,” she said. “We hope to keep this just kind of a minimum security facility because we are a public building here for public purposes and we hope to remain as open to the public as possible.”

A sign will direct visitors to the appropriate entrance. The sliding glass doors on the Post Street side still will be used for access to after-hours meetings, including Monday night City Council meetings.

Staff writer Jonathan Brunt contributed to this report.

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