January 9, 2013 in City

Victim claims shooting occurred inside home

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The 18-year-old woman who was shot Jan. 1 in what Spokane Police previously described as a drive-by shooting actually told police that she believes she was shot twice by someone inside the home where a fight broke out over a missing pistol during a New Year’s Eve party.

Two separate search warrants have been filed from which detectives found ammunition for four different caliber guns from the home at 4207 N. Jefferson St., where neighbors have complained about parties for years.

Spokane Police responded to a 9-1-1 call at 3:15 a.m. on Jan. 1 after neighbors reported hearing seven to 12 gunshots. When officers arrived, they found 18-year-old Kelsey Christian bleeding from two gunshot wounds to the upper torso, according to court records.

Officers also noted six bullet holes on the exterior of the home that appeared to have been fired from outside. But when other detectives began searching the home later that morning, Detective Ben Estes called his colleagues to say that Christian “told him she believes she was shot by a gun fired inside the residence.”

Christian initially was listed as critical, but her condition has since been upgraded, according to recent police updates. Efforts to reach Christian Wednesday were unsuccessful.

The home owner, Steven Knapp, told investigators that he hosted a large party New Years Eve during which an unidentified male became upset because his coat, containing a small-caliber pistol, was missing.

“Eventually the coat was found but the pistol was missing,” Detective Chet Gilmore wrote. Knapp “speculates that the drive-by shooting may have been in retaliation for somebody stealing the pistol.”

Detectives found two kitchen cabinet doors with bullet fragments, several bullet fragments elsewhere in the home and a blood-stained T-shirt in the basement sink.

Last week, police officials sought public help in locating both Kurt Garber and Mychal Wahl, both 23, in connection to the investigation. Then on Friday, police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said both Garber and Wahl had been located, questioned and released.

“Detectives continue to investigate and gain more information about what led up to the drive-by shooting as well as who may have been involved,” DeRuwe wrote.

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