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Jailhouse phone call led police to believe a 17-year-old killed another teen in NorthTown Mall drive-by shooting

UPDATED: Tue., May 25, 2021

Tayvon Koss appeared in court Tuesday in connection to the killing of a teen in a rival gang, police say.  (Maggie Quinlan / The Spokesman-Review)
Tayvon Koss appeared in court Tuesday in connection to the killing of a teen in a rival gang, police say. (Maggie Quinlan / The Spokesman-Review)

A jailhouse phone call pointed police to a 17-year-old alleged gang member whom they now suspect shot and killed a 19-year-old in a drive-by shooting at NorthTown Mall last month, according to court documents.

Tayvon Koss, 17, made his first appearance in court via Zoom in connection to the killing Tuesday, wearing khaki -colored pants and a navy blue polo shirt .

Commissioner Nichole Swennumson maintained Koss’s $1 million bail after hearing from a prosecutor about Koss’s extensive criminal history and past failure to appear in court.

Police suspect Koss fired at 19-year-old Kash Amos April 19 while riding in Shayne Winston’s Dodge Challenger.

Amos was riding in the backseat of a white sedan with his brother, a minor, when Amos was shot in the head. The driver of the white sedan was a known 5th Street gang member and the front seat passenger lived in a home that had been targeted in a driveby shooting April 4 during an “ongoing feud” between the Swavvi Crips and the 5th Street gangs, according to court documents.

Police arrested a 14-year-old and the suspected driver, 19-year-old Thurston Scanlon, the day after the shooting, according to court documents. Both are suspected Swavvi gang members, according to court documents.

May 1, a teenager not arrested in connection to the killing called his grandmother from jail and mentioned “Tayvon.” The boy then asked his grandmother to “let me talk to gang, cuz.” Then, a police officer monitoring the call heard a male voice police believe to be Koss speaking to the incarcerated teen, according to court documents.

On the call, the voice believed to be Koss said, “It was self-defense.”

The outside caller told the young inmate that he saw Amos and a 5th Street Gang member in the car next to him at a light and that they were yelling expletives about the Swavvi gang toward Koss.

“And then Kash (Amos) started getting out of the car and I seen in his waistband he started like pulling out a silver and black pistol and I just like got off on him,” the male voice said during the call.

Winston, the owner of the Dodge Challenger who was not in the car during the shooting, sat in the pews of a Spokane County Superior Court room Tuesday in support of Koss.

“I can’t say too much but people shouldn’t judge the situation off of what police are saying,” Winston said. “We all know who the real Tayvon is regardless of what happens in the courtroom, and we’ll be here for him.”

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