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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Pullman shooting probe hits dead end as prime suspect’s alibi checks out

By Josh Babcock Lewiston Tribune

PULLMAN – After identifying a person of interest in a potentially gang-related shooting in late October that left two western Washington men hospitalized, Pullman police say the case has since gone cold.

“We did have a person of interest that was reportedly the shooter in the case,” Pullman Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant said. “At the end of the day, the person of interest had an alibi that checked out.”

The incident occurred in the early hours of Oct. 29 on the 1000 block of Duncan Lane, on Pullman’s College Hill.

Police reported hearing gunfire while en route to the scene, where they found “numerous people running in all directions,” and two victims from the King County area with gunshot wounds.

A 19-year-old victim suffered a gunshot wound to the right torso, and a 17-year-old was shot in the arm, according to police. Neither of the victims are WSU students; both were treated at Pullman Regional Hospital for their injuries and released within days of the shooting.

The names of the victims have not been released throughout the investigation to prevent any possible retaliation against them.

Tennant said the case has gone cold because of a lack of credible and cooperative witnesses, though detectives have interviewed about a dozen people, including some in the Seattle area. He said witnesses lied about their identities to police and victims reported they had memory lapses regarding the incident.

“It’s hard to get a warrant based on information from someone that may be telling you the truth, but lied to you about who they were,” he said, noting at times the person of interest who was reportedly the shooter was more cooperative with police.

“We don’t work in a bubble; we have to work with the community,” Tennant said. “If they don’t work with us, it really limits our options.”

He said all it would take for the case to become active again would be one credible new lead.

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