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

Man shot, killed in Spokane Valley Wednesday night; residents dismayed that neighborhood has ‘definitely gotten worse’

Feb. 9, 2023 Updated Thu., Feb. 9, 2023 at 8:36 p.m.

A man was shot and killed in Spokane Valley on Wednesday night, according to a release from the Spokane Valley Police Department

Spokane Valley deputies responded at about 8:40 p.m. in the 4300 block of Second Avenue, near Havana Street, where they found a man who was lying on the living room floor of a residence. The caller who reported the incident said the shooting occurred two hours prior.

Police did not find anyone else inside the residence, but said three other people were contacted at the property and released without charges. Initial information indicated the man did not live at the home but was known to the residents there.

Officers had to force entry into the home, said Cpl. Mark Gregory, Valley police spokesman.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The man’s identity and cause of death will be released by the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Spokane Valley police said it is not clear whether the shooting death is connected to a drive-by shooting in the Perry District on Wednesday night that killed one person and injured two. Spokane police are investigating that shooting.

Detectives remained at the scene of the Valley shooting through Thursday morning. No arrests have been made, police said.

Julie Fontaine said she was coming home from her daughter’s residence around 11 p.m. when she saw police cars.

“This neighborhood is crap, to put it nicely,” said Fontaine, who has lived at an apartment complex a few blocks away from the house of the shooting for the past three years.

The area is rampant with drug use, property crime and stabbings, she said.

“I don’t even want to live here anymore,” she said. “When (Mayor) Nadine Woodward took over, I thought it would change. It has not.”

Jacob Gordon, who lives across the street from the residence where the shooting took place, said the area has suffered from crime for the six years he’s lived there. The residence in question was a major hub for criminal activity, he said, pointing across the street.

“It’s definitely gotten worse,” said Jerry Harless, Gordon’s mother, who lives in the same apartment unit.

She and her husband have been in recovery from drug use for seven years, she said.

“It disheartens me to see people where I used to be,” Harless said.

Both residents blamed the crime on legislation to decriminalize individual drug use in Washington, but said the neighborhood deteriorated after the establishment of the Camp Hope homeless encampment nearby. However, the camp’s shrinking numbers aren’t making things better, Harless said.

“Prayer is about the only thing that works,” she said. “We’re praying for the people involved in the shooting.”

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

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