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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Shooting victim”s family ”in shock”

Thomas Clouse Staff writer

Frank Joseph Silva, 17, was switching bedrooms, from downstairs to upstairs, in the family home on East 10th Avenue Wednesday when he found some clothes belonging to his 16-year-old nephew.

“He said, ‘Mom, I’ll be back in a little while,’ ” Silva’s mother, Vicky Peterson, said of Frank. “He just wanted to go see Brandon.”

Within just a few minutes, Peterson got the call from her daughter, Lynn Silva, that Frank had been shot.

It was the second time in four months that the teenager was left fighting for his life after being shot during a confrontation in the same West Central neighborhood.

This time, Silva would not recover.

Peterson walked into the hospital room Wednesday and saw that her son had been shot in the forehead. He was hooked up to life-support. “I can’t even describe it. My heart just dropped,” Peterson said.

The mother left the hospital once to take a shower, but otherwise stayed by her son’s side until he died just after 7 p.m. Thursday.

“We are in shock,” said Julie Silva, 27, who is Frank’s older sister. “The family is not doing very good.”

Dustin A. Davis, 18, remains in the Spokane County Jail on a community custody hold. He’s expected to be charged with murder in connection with Frank Silva’s death, Spokane Police spokesman Dick Cottam said.

The shooting occurred at 3:20 p.m. in an alley behind 2410 W. Boone Ave. The previous shooting was about five blocks from there.

On Jan. 14, Spokane police responded at 10:37 p.m. to the area of Cannon Street and Mallon Avenue and found Silva lying in the street with gunshot wounds to the torso and right arm, according to court documents.

Autumn Champagne, Silva’s girl- friend, told police that they’d had an argument at her home, 2128 W. Broadway, and that Silva had been acting belligerently, court records state.

Champagne told officers that she called 19-year-old Michael C. Painter to come over and help her remove Silva from her home, detective Kip Hollenbeck wrote in his report. The shooting occurred a short time later.

Painter remains in the Spokane County jail on a $20,000 bond awaiting trial on a first-degree assault charge in connection with the January attack. He declined a jailhouse interview Friday.

Both Julie Silva and Peterson said they’ve heard from several people that Davis and Painter are friends, and that Davis had been looking for Frank Silva for a week. The family claims that Davis shot Silva on Wednesday in retaliation for the charges Painter faces.

Lt. Scott Stephens said detectives have heard the same allegations of a connection between the shootings. “We are looking into all possibilities,” Stephens said.

Davis declined a request Friday for a jailhouse interview, but told KREM television Thursday that he shot Silva in self-defense.

Julie Silva said the killing was senseless.

“He took someone who was special to a lot of people,” Julie Silva said of Davis. “He needs to stand up and stop blaming Frank. He ruined a family.”

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