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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Arrest in recent string of drive-by shootings that left woman paralyzed

Lynch  (Garrett Cabeza / The Spokesman-Review)

The man allegedly responsible for the rash of drive-by shootings this week in Spokane has been arrested and made his first court appearance Thursday.

Gregory T. Lynch, 20, is charged with four counts of drive-by shooting, first-degree assault and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm for four shootings that left a woman paralyzed and damaged vehicles, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Thursday in Spokane County District Court.

Three shootings happened Monday night, and another Tuesday night. Law enforcement authorities arrested Lynch, who has three felony convictions for assault, at an apartment Wednesday night in the West Central Neighborhood.

Lynch is believed to be responsible for firing more than 40 rounds at homes, cars and neighborhoods, according to a Spokane Police Department news release.

Lynch appeared virtually from the Spokane County Jail Thursday, tucking his arms inside a yellow short-sleeved inmate shirt throughout the proceeding.

A judge set Lynch’s bond at $1 million, and the court entered a not guilty plea on Lynch’s behalf.

The first shooting was reported shortly after 10:30 p.m. Monday at Dalton Avenue and Helena Street in northeast Spokane, according to the affidavit. Video surveillance from a resident appeared to show a dark-colored SUV shooting at another dark-colored SUV. Three 9 mm shell casings were located in the intersection.

About 35 minutes later, multiple residents and video surveillance reported several shots fired from a dark-colored SUV on the 1900 block of West Knox Avenue , court documents said. An unoccupied parked vehicle had been struck several times.

At least 12 bullet holes could be seen Tuesday afternoon in a blue Cadillac XTS parked on the street outside the Knox Avenue address. Eighteen 9 mm shell casings were located in the street, the affidavit said.

Another roughly 35 minutes later, at 11:45 p.m., a shooting was reported on the 1800 block of East Dalton Avenue, two blocks from the first shooting, documents said.

A witness told police Lynch sent a Facebook message two hours prior to the shooting asking the location of the witness. The witness said in documents he did not respond to the message.

There was a knock at the door just prior to the shooting at the Dalton residence, and the witness, who was not expecting anyone, asked who was there, the affidavit said. The man outside the door asked if the witness was inside before opening fire on the residence.

Daisy Brough was struck by the gunfire and is reported to be paralyzed, documents said. Eighteen 9 mm shell casings were located at the scene.

A GoFundMe page for Brough and her 5-month-old daughter has raised $12,500, with a $30,000 goal.

Another shooting was reported late Tuesday night in the area of Liberty Avenue and Madelia Street – the same neighborhood of the Dalton Avenue shootings the previous night.

A witness told police a bullet came from inside a newer white SUV and struck the witness’ vehicle. The SUV raced past her location as if chasing another vehicle, the witness said.

A black SUV crashed on a curb and became disabled two blocks away at Dalton Avenue and Perry Street, the affidavit said. The vehicle, a 2012 Nissan Rogue, was registered to Lynch.

The driver and passenger of the Nissan ran and the passenger was eventually detained, documents said. The passenger told police the driver was Lynch. A detective located several 9 mm shell casings in the car.

Lynch was taken into custody without incident Wednesday night, documents said. The Spokane police news release said SWAT, hostage negotiators and other resources surrounded the apartment and worked for more than three hours to get Lynch to surrender, which he did.

Lynch told police he was not involved in the shootings, but then said a third person in his vehicle had shot from the car. He finally said he shot from his vehicle toward a white SUV that was firing at him. Police said in the documents it appeared Lynch’s vehicle was shot.

Lynch said in the affidavit he purchased the gun Tuesday and did not have it during Monday’s shootings. He told police he disassembled the gun and threw it in the river. Police have not located the firearm.

Spokane police Lt. Rob Boothe said he believes Lynch is the only suspect in the case, and that he does not have a gang history.

Boothe said the shootings terrified the city, and that Lynch’s arrest is a “giant win for the community.”

Boothe is the supervisor of the Spokane Regional Safe Streets Task Force, which made the arrest, and is commander of the police’s new Violent Crime Task Force.

Boothe said members of the Violent Crime Task Force, which was created to get prolific offenders off the street, are training and will be deployed by the end of the month.

The department will assign two of its sergeants and five officers to start. Boothe said the task force members have several years of law enforcement experience, and most have specialty positions in the police department. Several are on the SWAT team.

All seven were from patrol-based resources instead of investigative units, he said.

“That’s a significant switch, that we have to make sure that we give them ample training on and how to use the investigative side of the house instead of just the patrol side,” Boothe said.