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Violent Start to “School’s Out” Summer


School is out for the summer for the majority of Yakima kids, and while they may be celebrating, Yakima Police likely are not. Violent crime always tends to spike during the summer, but the past week has been extra violent, with 12 gun incidents. For many, summer is a time for play, but for others, it’s a time to prey.

It’s been a rough 10 days for Yakima. The violent trend began last Tuesday, with five calls involving firearms in just 24 hours. KIMA was at the scene of a car theft that escalated to two teens firing at another vehicle. Police said the 13 and 15-year-old suspects will likely be charged with attempted murder and for stealing the car.

KIMA reporters were also there Thursday as police investigated a shooting that seriously injured a man in the Fifth Avenue Safeway parking lot. Officers said the fight began with an argument about a cell phone. The suspect shot the victim twice before an armed witness reportedly intervened. That attack brought the total of gun related incidents to 12 in a little over a week. It’s something that has some Yakima parents terrified.

“Because I have children, it’s scary because you hear so many cases of innocent bystanders and children getting hurt and caught in the cross fire,” said Mike Hernandez.  Yakima Police told KIMA they can’t pinpoint the exact reason for the intense week, but said all the free time for kids is definitely a factor.

“School is out,” said Captain Rod Light. “The gangs are more active. We’re finding them to be armed more often than not now.” The majority of those 12 incidents over the past few days did result in arrests.

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