December 17, 2013 in City

Police: South Hill shooting wasn’t random

By The Spokesman-Review
Dan Pelle photoBuy this photo

Crime-scene tape on Monday morning surrounds the home where a Spokane man was shot to death Sunday evening. Early indications show the deceased man was targeted by his killer.
(Full-size photo)

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The investigation Monday had little effect on the school day at nearby Hutton Elementary. The school was on “modified lockdown” to keep students out of the way of investigators and extra traffic.

A fatal shooting Sunday that sent dozens of police officers swarming across a quiet South Hill neighborhood does not appear to be a random act.

Detectives said Monday the gunman targeted a man, broke into his home at 2505 S. Garfield Road, and killed him.

The man’s wife ran upstairs to hide from the shooter and telephoned for help. Police have not confirmed these reports. Black and white video surveillance from a nearby home shows an extended-cab early 2000s white Dodge van that police suspect may be tied to the crime.

Police guarded other details of the investigation, and the victim’s identity and business dealings have not been officially released.

“We don’t have these types of incidents in Spokane, where someone comes into somebody else’s house and just shoots them,” Spokane police Capt. Joe Walker said of the Sunday night attack. Early information suggests “the victim was targeted,” Walker said.

Walker called the investigation “frustrating” as police hunt for clues and motives. They have released a vague description of the shooter – a white man wearing dark clothing.

The footage from a camera on Rockwood Boulevard shows the Dodge van driving into frame then leaving a short time later.

The investigation had little effect on the school day at nearby Hutton Elementary School. The school took steps referred to as a “modified lockdown” to keep students out of the way of investigators and extra traffic, said school spokesman Kevin Morrison.

Forensics investigators were photographing evidence in a lot across the street from the school’s playground.

“This case is going to take awhile,” Walker told reporters assembled in front of the three-story home where the shooting took place.

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