A video purportedly filmed by the two men accused of a series of drive-by shootings that wounded a Spokane police officer on June 28 showed what Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich described as an increase in attacks against law enforcement, the sheriff said during a press conference on Friday afternoon.
In the 85-second video, two men can be seen in a car in the Logan Neighborhood, not far from Gonzaga Prep. A bare-chested man wearing a black ski mask and red cap, believed to be Ray Wynecoop, 22, can be heard discussing his gang affiliation while holding a .22 caliber semiautomatic rifle in the driver seat of a car in what they describe as a “Spokane police (expletive) hangout.”
The two men spot a Spokane police patrol vehicle, driven by Officer Michele Kernkamp, and chased her northbound on Perry Street. Kernkamp described them as “on my bumper,” in court documents.
“She’s trying to shake us,” the passenger, believed to be Isaac Ott, 21, said.
Several shots are heard as another Spokane police patrol vehicle driven by Officer Kris Honaker passes through the intersection of Perry Street and Empire Avenue.
Honaker received gunshot wounds to the leg and head. He was released from the hospital within 24 hours.
Knezovich said the incident is the culmination of escalating violence toward law enforcement by gang members over the past year.
“Were not blind to what they’ve been doing,” he said. “We’ve been watching that escalation, and this is the culmination.”
Investigators believe that the shooting was an attempt to build street cred.
“If they’re willing to come after law enforcement, they’re willing to come after anyone, and that needs to end,” Knezovich said.
During the press conference, the sheriff also voiced his longstanding complaints with what he views as “woke politicians’” soft-on-crime reforms and decried complaints of racism from his office and law enforcement in general.
“We have some folks in our community who take real offense when we use the word ‘gang,’ as if it was an indictment of all people of color,” the sheriff said. “As a matter of fact, 75% roughly of the gang members in this community are white.”
Wynecoop and Ott are members of different gangs, according to an affidavit of facts. The two men face a number of charges, including conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, two counts of attempted murder, four counts of first-degree assault and three counts of drive-by shooting among others.
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.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.