Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 94° Clear
News >  Crime/Public Safety

Six suspected gang members arrested in connection to drive-by shooting fueled by Spokane gang feud

UPDATED: Tue., June 15, 2021

Police arrested six alleged gang members over the weekend in connection to two shootings in April that are part of an ongoing feud between the Swavii and Fifth Street gangs.

At about 3:30 a.m. on April 4, 20 to 30 people had gathered in a room at the Centennial Hotel, 303 N. River Drive, according to court documents. Ralph Aiken, 18, went downstairs to meet someone who wanted to buy drugs from him, the records indicate.

When Aiken got downstairs, six males wearing masks and black hoodies surrounded him and demanded to be taken upstairs to see Braden Waters, 22, Aiken told police.

When Waters opened the door in response to a knock, there was a group of males, at least four of whom had guns, according to court documents.

The men pointed the guns at Aiken and Waters. Aiken squeezed into the room ahead of the armed men and Waters tried to shut the door, according to court documents.

That’s when a gun went off, Waters told police.

Both Waters and Aiken were almost hit by the gunshot, according to witnesses in the room.

One person in the room reported the incident to hotel security, telling them he knew the masked men were members of the Swavii gang and thought they were attempting to rob Waters, court records say.

Waters is currently in custody on unrelated charges.

While investigating the incident at Centennial, Spokane police officers connected the shooting to an assault about an hour and a half earlier at the Holiday Inn Express, 9220 E. Mission Ave.

A teen girl was assaulted by a teenager she identified as Tayvonn Koss, 17, according to court records.

Koss already is in the Spokane County Jail on a second-degree murder charge for allegedly killing Kash Amos in a drive-by shooting in April. He had new charges added Friday related to the Centennial Hotel incident. He was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. His bond is now set at $1.5 million.

Koss was allegedly with three other young males, Jaeshawn Singh-Fletcher, 18; a 17-year-old boy charged as an adult; and another boy charged as a juvenile.

The 17-year-old was arrested and charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on Friday. He is in the Spokane County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

Police believe the same group of teens committed both the assault and the shooting, along with Johnquel Buck, 18; Raymond Cormana, 22; and another 17-year-old boy charged as an adult and faces an assault charge from an earlier incident on April 4, according to court records. The 17-year-old’s bail was set at $600,000.

The Spokesman-Review, at this time, is not naming the 17-year-olds who are not facing murder charges.

Cormana also was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon after his arrest on Saturday. He is currently in the Spokane County Jail with a $100,000 bond.

Buck was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon after his arrest on Sunday and is being held in the Spokane County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Singh-Fletcher and one of the 17-year-old boys are suspected of committing another drive-by shooting just a few hours after the Centennial Hotel incident, according to court documents.

Terry Reifer, 19, woke up just before 7 a.m. at his home on East Garnet Avenue to the sound of people outside shouting his name, according to court documents. Reifer told police he went to the front door and opened it to see a black car with two people inside. Reifer said he didn’t know either of the men in the car.

Reifer told police he heard rapid gun fire as soon as he opened the door.

At the time, at least eight people were at Reifer’s home, including four children ranging in age from just a few months old to 17, according to court documents. Reifer was not cooperative with law enforcement, according to court records, but acknowledged that he is aware of the feud between the Swavii and Fifth Street gangs.

Just a few weeks after the drive-by shooting at his house, Kash Amos, who was related to Reifer, was allegedly killed by Koss in an April 29 drive-by shooting at NorthTown Mall.

Other adult residents of the home said they were asleep when they heard the commotion and the subsequent gunshots. Bullets were found in the front porch of the residence, according to court documents.

Neighbors provided surveillance video from their home security cameras to police, according to court documents.

Police recovered the car used during the drive-by shooting and were able to match fingerprints found inside matching the two 17-year-olds and Singh-Fletcher and Koss, according to court documents.

Based on surveillance footage and the fingerprints, police believe that one of the 17-year-olds and Singh-Fletcher committed the drive-by shooting.

Singh-Fletcher and one of the 17-year-olds are charged with two counts of attempted murder, seven counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and drive-by shooting related to the incident. Singh-Fletcher is additionally charged with two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, fourth-degree assault and one count of armed robbery for the other incidents on April 4.

He also has a pending charge for theft of a motor vehicle. He is currently in the Spokane County Jail on a more than $650,000 bond.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated, Ralph Aiken’s location. He is not in law enforcement custody at this time. 

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.