SPOKANE, Wash. — The Inland Northwest is a hidden gem more people are discovering, and the region is home to some big events, especially during the summer.
From Bloomsday, the Lilac Parade and of course, Hoopfest - the world's largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
Shootings at large events are unfortunately something we hear about quite often across the country. On July 4, thousands of people were enjoying fireworks in Coeur d'Alene when a incident happened there.
Coeur d'Alene’s Chief of Police Lee White said this type of incident is rare for our community.
When we look back on some of our biggest events in the Inland Northwest, they have a track record of being safe. It's why the Fourth of July shooting in Coeur d'Alene is so alarming for people including the police chief.
"I would say overall this is still a very safe city. We just have a group of individuals that continue to cause us problems like any other municipality has,” White said.
Organized events in the Inland Northwest rarely see dangerous situations like this. You may remember at the 2010 Hoopfest, two men were arrested for firing shots into a crowd during a gang fight which injured three people. This was the first time ever a shooting happened at Hoopfest.
"The Hoopfest shooting was relegated to people that knew each other and our department were able to catch those people and hold them accountable,” Spokane Police Corporal Teresa Fuller said.
Fuller has been with the Spokane Police Department for more than 20 years, she said attacks on large events are rare. She attributes this to the amount of behind the scenes planning with other jurisdictions and the strong relationship with the community.
There was another incident in 2011 at the MLK Parade, someone left a bomb on the parade route the FBI said could've caused "many casualties."
"We had citizens that were very astute and brought it to our attention right away before anyone was injured and we were able to handle that and change the course of the parade,” Fuller explained.
Chief White said the same type of community policing is true for Coeur d'Alene, but there are some people with no regard for the law.
"It is almost like they go out of their way to make these types of celebrations miserable for other people,” he said.
Local agencies said at large events like the one in Coeur d'Alene, law enforcement have all hands on deck to protect crowds so you and your family should feel safe.
"We are just fortunate that we do live in a town where these things are very rare and again when they do happen it's very easy for us to take care of them because we do have assets necessary to do that,” Fuller said.
Local law enforcement agencies said large event have such a good track record in our area because of the year round planning and how well each jurisdiction works together to make sure event are as safe as possible.