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Police shut down Knitting Factory concert venue following latest attacks

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 18, 2013, 2:54 p.m.

Four people were shot in two gang-related attacks early today, prompting Spokane police to shut down the downtown concert venue where the hostilities originated.

None of this morning’s shooting victims had life threatening injuries, according to the Spokane Police Department. Identities were immediately unavailable as detectives continued investigating.

The first attack was reported shortly after 2 a.m. in a parking lot across from the Knitting Factory concert house at First Avenue and Monroe Street in downtown Spokane, where two people were hit by gunfire. The second attack was reported a short time later at the intersection of Nora and Maple Avenue, where two more people were shot.

Police said the two attacks appear related and may have stemmed from hostilities between rival gangs that apparently became inflamed at a Sunday dance party at the Knitting Factory.

Police Chief Frank Straub said this morning that he’s ordered the shut down of the concert venue, saying police have responded to four shootings this year alone at the venue as well as several other acts of violence.

“We will not tolerate these acts of violence,” Straub said. “We are shutting Knitting Factory down because of public safety concerns.”

The concert house was hosting an event Sunday night called the “VDAY/BDAY,” which featured several disc jockeys.

The Knitting Factory management will have 20 days to appeal the decision.

“They’re going to have to demonstrate to us that they’re serious,” Straub said. “We were there a few weeks ago talking to them and they promised us they were going to exercise some thoughtfulness somehow in their patrons and the activities that were going on in there. Clearly they didn’t.”

(This breaking story will be updated as information becomes available)

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