SPOKANE, Wash. -- Witnesses say several shots rang out at a group of basketball players Wednesday evening at Dutch Jake Mini Park. It ended with a man shot in the leg and the suspects’ car in a yard.
Spokane police did arrest 32-year-old Ricky L. Leon for first-degree assault, but they feel confident he had help.
People living in the area near West Queen Avenue and North Stevens say they heard the shots from several blocks away. One family in particular says their son just came back in from playing outside when the shots were fired, and they’re sick of this constant violence.
“It’s nothing new in this neighborhood. Everyone tries to say they’re fire crackers, but they’re not,” neighbor Cindy Champagne said.
Last night was proof of that.
Witnesses offered a description of Leon’s Pontiac to help police track down the suspects. They got in a chase, and Leon crashed into the yard. His passenger escaped.
Police say this is a gang-related attack.
“In the beginning, I think it was just a bunch of kids wanting to run around together, and they called them gangs. But now, it’s like there are people coming in from other states where gang violence is prominent. That makes it worse,” Champagne said.
Leon does have a criminal history. In 2004, he pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree assault. Neighbors say his victim was just a teenager playing basketball, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.