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Gangs in Walla Walla 1989-2010

  • Graffiti

    Walla Walla Police start seeing gang-related graffiti.
  • Period: to

    Gangs in Walla Walla 1989 - 2010

  • "Loose-knit gang"

    Two youths suspected of possible gang-related activity and one adult are arrested for allegedly selling suspected marijuana to an undercover Walla Walla police officer. Officials say a "loose-knit gang" may be trying to start up in the city.
  • 50 Teens Clash on Cayuse Street

    More than 50 teens clash in several battles on Cayuse Street in the largest melee officials can remember. Several participants and law enforcement officers are injured. The violence stems from a feud between two rival factions of teens, but police don’t believe it is “gang-like” activity.
  • State funding program begins

    A three-year state funding program for law enforcement agencies begins. The following year, three officers are added to the Walla Walla Police Department and two extra deputies are hired at the Sheriff's Office.
  • Police Cheif Announced Education Program

    Police Chief Chuck Fulton announces a program to educate the public about the possible start of gang activity here.
  • Program to Paint Over Graffiti

    The Walla Walla Police Department and the county’s Department of Court Services embark on a project that involves juvenile offenders painting over graffiti to curb gang-related activities before they become a major problem.
  • Gang Awareness Programs

    1992 — Police officers start presenting gang awareness programs to area organizations.
  • Shots Fired From a Moving Vehicle

    Three people fire shots from a moving vehicle into an unoccupied vehicle in the 600 block of North Ninth Avenue.
  • Walla Walla Convenience Store Robbed By Two Youths

    A Walla Walla convenience store is robbed by two youths. The suspects — who are apprehended four days later — had moved to the area from Texas. They are thought to have gang ties in that state and in the local community.
  • Police Indentify Three Burgeoning Gangs

    December — Police announce they have identified three burgeoning criminal gangs in Walla Walla composed of 60-70 members, mostly young Latinos between the ages of 11 and early 20s. The number will remain fairly constant for more than a year. About 50 crimes — mainly vandalisms, intimidations and fights — have been linked to gang activity from January to Oct. 20 of this year. The Walla Walla School District reports that the number of fights has risen about 25 percent in the last three years.
  • Gang activity is blamed for increase in vechicle thefts

    February — Walla Walla police report thefts from vehicles rose three or four times more than usual in the preceding three months. Increasing gang activity is blamed.
  • First Residential Drive-by Shooting

    A house in the 200 block of West Cherry Street is the target of what police call the first residential drive-by shooting in the city resulting from gang rivalry. Six children — including two gang members — and their mother are in the home when seven shots are fired into it about 12:30 a.m. No one is hurt. Later in the day, shots are fired from another car as it drives past the residence.
  • Arson Fire at Location of Drive-by Shooting

    An arson fire damages the side of a house on Cherry Street that was hit by gunfire in February.
  • Statistics Show Increase in Number of Violent Crimes

    April — Newly released statistics show the number of violent crimes surged 30 percent in Walla Walla County the previous year. By the end of this year, gang-related assaults in the city will total 23. Four drive-by shootings will be reported.
  • Man Beaten, Robbed by Alleged Gang Members

    A man with no gang affiliation is beaten and robbed by four or five alleged gang members at Second Avenue and Chestnut Street about
  • Four Shots Fired at House

    At least four shots are fired at a house in the 400 block of South Eighth Avenue shortly before 2 a.m., but no injuries to the nine
  • Shotgun Fired Into Woodland Ave. Apartment

    Two shotgun blasts — one that shatters a living room window and one that penetrates a front door — are fired into an apartment building on Woodland Avenue. No one is hurt.
  • Community Members Express Concern

    June — Community members express concern over rising gang violence. In a public service project, a group of Blue Ridge Elementary School students paint over graffiti.
  • Gang-related Fight in Milton-Freewater

    A suspected gang-related fight in Milton-Freewater involving as many as 10 people sends two men — one in critical condition — to St. Mary Medical Center.
  • Sherrif Offers Gang Resistance Education And Training to seventh-graders

    Fall — The Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office offers Gang Resistance Education And Training to seventh-graders.
  • Areas On Outskirts of Walla Walla See Gang Activity

    Early 1994 — Areas on the outskirts of Walla Walla, such as Burbank and Milton-Freewater, begin to see gang activity.
  • Shots Fired into Chase Ave. House

    Seven shots are fired into a house off Chase Avenue. No injuries are reported.
  • !6-year-old Gang Member Shoots People in Parked Car

    A 16-year-old acknowledged gang member shoots at two people in a parked car, injuring one of the victims in the leg in a confrontation stemming from bad feelings between rival gang members. The suspect later pleads guilty and is sentenced to nearly four years in a state detention facility. Officials say the case is the first suspected gang-related shooting in Walla Walla resulting in an injury.
  • South 8th Ave. Homes Struck by Gunfire

    Three houses on South Eighth Avenue are struck by gunfire in apparent gang retaliation for a Feb. 4 shooting. No injuries are reported.
  • Girl Injured in Gang-related Shooting

    A girl suffers a leg injury in a shooting involving two people on foot in the 100 block of East Main Street. It’s the sixth gang-related shooting in the city so far this year. Two teens later are sentenced to state juvenile institutions.
  • Latino Leaders Hold Community Meeting

    Latino leaders hold a community meeting aimed at stemming the escalating youth violence in Walla Walla.
  • Walla Walla PD Assigns Two Officers to Monitor Gangs

    March 1994 — Walla Walla police, who have assigned two officers to monitor gangs, announce they have sent more than 20 gang members to detention or prison. But violence involving guns and bats continues to escalate, graffiti becomes more widespread, gang members show more sophistication and bravado, neighborhoods ask for protection and Department of Court Services personnel seek tougher sentences for some suspects. Intensive patrols begin mid-month in the area of Eighth Avenue and West Willow St
  • Two Are Wounded in Gang-Related Shooting Near Third and Birch

    Two people in a car are wounded in a gang-related shooting near Third Avenue and Birch Street. Police say it could be a case of mistaken identity. Two suspects are arrested. Officials later organize a meeting between leaders of the city’s two primary gangs. The leaders reportedly agree not to shoot at each other’s houses.
  • Milton-Freewater Community Meets to Assess Violent Youth Activity

    About 30 Milton-Freewater community leaders and residents meet to assess ways to curb violent youth activity. Five multi-racial gangs, including one female gang, operate there. Intimidation and property crimes are on the rise.
  • State Supreme Court Rules on "Gang Motivation"

    The Washington state Supreme Court rules that “gang motivation” can be used by judges in imposing exceptionally long sentences for criminal defendants.
  • 8th Ave. Neighborhood Celebrates 6 Months of Peace

    Residents from South Eighth Avenue hold a block party to celebrate six months of neighborhood peace, brought about largely from vigilance and expanded police presence.
  • Gang-related Violence Resumes in 8th Ave. Neighborhood

    Gang-related violence resumes in the South Eighth Avenue neighborhood when two shots blast through the front window of one of the houses that was shot Feb. 21. No injuries are reported.
  • Drive-by Shootings in Milton-Freewater

    Two drive-by shootings into houses are reported in Milton-Freewater.
  • Suspected Gang Member Sentenced to Nearly 18 Years in Prison

    A 20-year-old man whose former home was the target of past drive-by shootings is arrested on suspicion of firing several shots at gang members near Ninth Avenue and Chestnut Street early this morning. No one is hurt. The suspect associates with gang members, but denies gang affiliation. He continues to maintain innocence, but a jury later convicts him of two counts of second-degree assault. He is sentenced to nearly 18 years in prison. One official calls the conviction “a step forward."
  • 1994 Sees Increase in Youth Crimes

    By the end of 1994 — There has been a 17.6 percent increase in the number of crimes committed by youths since 1991. Walla Walla County now has the second highest rate of youth violence in the state. Gang violence has risen continually. Four people were shot in the city of Walla Walla this year; 43 youths were arrested for violent crimes. Juvenile crimes will increase another 20 percent through the end of 1995.
  • Bullets Fired into Apartment on Poplar Street

    A weekend of confrontations between two rival gangs begins the year in which violence will peak in Walla Walla. Four bullets are fired into an apartment building on West Poplar Street. People are inside, but no one is hurt. Patrols are increased in the area.
  • Milton-Freewater Adopts Spray-paint Ordinance

    February - The Milton-Freewater police chief proposes banning spray-paint sales to minors to control a growing graffiti problem. The controversial ordinance later is adopted.
  • Shots Fired Near Sharpstein Elementary School

    Shots are fired near a residence adjacent to Sharpstein Elementary School. Neighbors step up security because of crime in the area, including gang and drug activity.
  • Shotgun Blast Hits House on S. 8th Ave.

    A shotgun blast penetrates a living room window of a house on South Eighth Avenue. It’s the third time the house has been hit in about a year.
  • Shots Fired At House Near Garrison Middle School

    Shots are fired at a rental house on Chase Avenue across from Garrison Middle School. Residents of the home are fearful and
  • Three Injured After Shots Fired From Car

    Three people suffer minor injuries from shots fired from one car into another near 12th Avenue and Poplar Street. It’s the first shooting resulting in injuries since March 11, 1994. A 15-year-old boy later pleads guilty in adult court to first-degree assault and is sentenced to nearly eight years in prison. Three accomplices are ordered jailed for several months.
  • Teen Gang Members Shot at While Downtown

    Six teenaged gang members are shot at while walking in an alley between the 1000 blocks of West Alder and Poplar streets. No injuries are reported. A Pasco teen who is a member of a rival gang later is arrested.
  • Shots Fired At House on Rees Ave.

    At least three shots are fired at a house on Rees Avenue. No one is hurt.
  • Walla Walla Gang Member Killed n Pasco

    A gang associate from Walla Walla is stabbed to death in Pasco. Four local area acquaintances later are convicted of various levels of involvement, including a Walla Walla man who is sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
  • Gang Confrontation Leads to Shooting Near 11th & Emma Ave.

    A confrontation between rival gang members leads to a shooting near 11th Avenue and Emma Street. No one is hurt. Three teenagers later plead guilty to involvement and are sentenced to several months of incarceration.
  • Shots Fired At Moving Vehicle on Chase Ave.

    Two bullets penetrate a vehicle traveling in the 700 block of Chase Avenue. No one in the car is hurt. A nearby resident is arrested. The following month, residents of the area tell the Walla Walla City Council they can’t sleep at night because of gunshots and ask for help. Suggestions include a sales tax increase to pay for more police officers, a curfew and continuing the Neighborhood Watch program.
  • Man Shot in Leg on West Sumach Street

    A 21-year-old man suffers a leg wound when several shots are fired on West Sumach Street in what police believe is a fight between 30-40 rival gang members.
  • Shots Fired Into N. 9th Ave. Home

    Three bullets rip into the living room of a home on North Ninth Avenue, narrowly missing family members. The shooting possibly is retaliation against a resident who earlier chased off gang members who were throwing bottles at children in the neighborhood.
  • Four Arrested Following Gang-related Shooting

    Four people are arrested on various charges including attempted murder following a gang-related shooting at a house on North Elizabeth Street in Milton-Freewater. No one is hurt.
  • Teen Gang Member From Pasco Stabbed on Sumach St.

    A 15-year-old gang member from Pasco is beaten and stabbed in a confrontation with rival gang members on West Sumach Street. A 15-year-old Walla Walla boy later is convicted of the assault and sentenced to 80-100 weeks in a state juvenile institution.
  • Statistics Show Decline in Major Crimes

    June - Statistics are released showing that the number of major crimes in Walla Walla dropped 9.9 percent in 1996 compared to the previous year. Violent crimes remained the same, but property crimes declined 10.9 percent. Officials say many of the “major players” in the gangs have been locked up and gang prevention programs are starting to have an impact. In addition, gang activity at the Walla Walla Farm Labor Camp reportedly is waning.
  • Statistics Show Increase in Juvenile Arrests

    September — Statistics are released showing that twice as many juveniles were arrested in 1996 than in 1992. The 1996 arrest rate per thousand kids is slightly above the state average, but the county is seeing a downtrend.
  • Man Seriously Injured in Gang-related Assault

    A Walla Walla man is seriously injured in a gang-related assault at the Walla Walla Farm Labor Camp. Three people are charged with the crime.
  • Schools Report Dress/Behavior Codes Reduced Gang-related Problems

    Early 1998 — Area school officials report updated dress and behavior codes have reduced gang-related problems.
  • Milton-Freewater Votes to Hire Police Officer To Address Gang Problem

    February — The Milton-Freewater City Council votes to hire a police officer specifically to address gang problems.
  • Youth Hospitalized After Being Hit in Head in Gang-related Fight

    One youth is hospitalized after being hit in the head with a baseball bat in a gang-related fight in the Eastgate area.
  • Young Man shot Several Times in Drive-by Shooting

    An 18-year-old man is shot several times in the lower abdomen and head in a gang-related drive-by shooting at Orchard Homes in Milton-Freewater. A suspect — who committed a drive-by shooting in Walla Walla in 1994 — is charged, but eventually acquitted.
  • "Near Riot" at Orchard Homes in Milton-Freewater

    Aug. 29, 1998 — What the Milton-Freewater police chief terms a “near riot” breaks out at Orchard Homes. About 50 people surround officers who have to keep the crowd at bay by gunpoint and back their patrol car out of the area. Two primary instigators are arrested.
  • Orchard Homes in Milton-Freewater Ask Law Enforcement to Form Task Force

    September — Under criticism following continued civil disturbances at Orchard Homes in Milton-Freewater, the housing complex’s board asks a number of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to form a task force to help deal with a suspected gang problem there. Officials later turn down the request, deferring to city police to handle the criminal investigations.
  • Little Overt Gang Activity During 1999

    1999 - This year is a turning point with little overt gang activity. Credit is given to ongoing school, community and law enforcement programs aimed at curbing violence, a sales tax increase to fund more police officers, the “major players” having been arrested and incarcerated, and vigilance on the part of neighborhood watch groups.
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    Little Overt Gang Activity During 1999

    1999 — This year is a turning point with little overt gang activity. Credit is given to ongoing school, community and law enforcement programs aimed at curbing violence, a sales tax increase to fund more police officers, the “major players” having been arrested and incarcerated, and vigilance on the part of neighborhood watch groups.
  • Seven Teens Arrested After Milton-Freewater Gang Fight

    Seven teenagers are arrested after a gang fight involving about 30 people on Cowl Street in Milton-Freewater.
  • Teen Reportedly Shoots at People in Vehicle Near Palouse and Chestnut

    A teenager reportedly shoots at people in a vehicle near Palouse and Chestnut streets. No one is hurt and no damage is reported.
  • Man Shoots at Vehicle Occupied by Rival Gang Members

    A 28-year-old man fires several shots at a vehicle occupied by two rival gang members. He later pleads guilty to assault and is sentenced to six months in jail.
  • Teens Shot At On 9th Avenue

    Two teens are shot at on Ninth Avenue. No one is hurt, but a 16-year-old boy later pleads guilty to assault charges and is sentenced to 13 months in prison.
  • Teen Boy Shot in Arm Near 11th Ave. and Birch St.

    A 16-year-old boy is shot in the arm by one of his friends near 11th Avenue and Birch Street. Police say it is a case of mistaken identity.
  • Young Man Killed at College Place Party

    An 18-year-old Walla Walla man with a history of gang involvement is shot and killed at a party in College Place. Although there is no evidence the murder stemmed from a dispute between rival gang members, it fires up tensions in the area later in the day. Several disturbances are reported near 11th Avenue and Willow Street in Walla Walla and police officers are placed on a “state of high alert.”
  • Man Stabbed in Apparent Gang-related Fight

    A man is stabbed during what police say appears to be a gang-related street fight.
  • Waitsburg Holds Town Meeting to Discuss Increase in Gang Activity

    A town meeting is held in Waitsburg to try to devise a plan to deal with a rash of vandalism, theft and intimidation, allegedly by a youth gang that prowls the downtown area.
  • Walla Walla PD Estimates Local Gang Membership Decreases

    Widner Electric and Industrial near Milton-Freewater burns down and graffiti is located on a business near there. Also, Walla Walla police estimate a once-formidable gang in the area now numbers 10-15 active members.
  • Shots Fired Into Evergreen St. Apartments

    Shots are fired into two apartments on Evergreen Street. No one is hurt.
  • Commitment to Community Launches To Address Problem in West Side of Town

    Spring - A group of people brainstorms ways to solve problems facing residents in the west end of Walla Walla. Preventing and reducing violent crime, including gang activity, are priorities. From that discussion, the Commitment to Community program is launched to minimize the disparity between the neighborhood and the rest of the community.
  • Man Stabbed on South 9th Ave.

    A man is stabbed during an altercation on South Ninth Avenue. A notorious, 27-year-old ex-convict — who had been locked up for four years when he was a juvenile for a gang-related shooting — later is accused of threatening the stabbing victim with gang retaliation if he doesn’t drop charges against the accused assailant. The gang member eventually pleads guilty to a reduced charge of fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor.
  • Gang Member Holds Family Members Hostage

    A long-time gang member — who reportedly is trying to restructure his once-prominent group — holds family members hostage at a Poplar Street home. He later is convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison. Then he is accused of being with gang members who forced their way into a residence on Roosevelt Street in December 2004. A jury in 2006 finds him guilty and, flashing a toothy grin and a gang sign, he is sentenced to life in prison without parole under the state’s three-str
  • Whitman College Students Release Report on Social Conditions Facing Latinos

    Whitman College undergraduates introduce a wide-ranging report on social conditions facing Latinos. The report concludes that 98 percent of gang membership in Walla Walla is of Latino origin, compared to 49 percent nationwide. Also, 95 percent of those members have gone through the juvenile justice system.
  • Two Injured in Attack on 13th Ave. Near Rose St.

    Gang-related violence starts mounting again. Two people are injured in an attack on 13th Avenue near Rose Street. Two suspects later are sentenced to state institutions.
  • Man Stabbed Multiple Times on 9th Ave.

    A Walla Walla man is stabbed at least 15 times in what police call a “severe attack” on Ninth Avenue. The primary assailant later is sent to prison for nearly 17 years; an accomplice gets eight years. Both have histories of gang violence.
  • Walla Walla Announces New Graffiti Abatement Program

    The city of Walla Walla announces a new graffiti abatement program.
  • Vehicle Struck by Bullet Near Fairgronds Sets off Series of Shootings

    A vehicle is struck by a bullet near the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds, setting off a series of shootings — some random — carried out by teenagers in the city. Police say suspects are members or friends of a local gang and at least two of the incidents were intended to retaliate against rival gang members. In all, eight teens are charged with various levels of involvement; four are handed lengthy periods of incarceration.
  • Businesses Neare Edith and Carrie Avenues Tagged with Graffiti

    Businesses near Edith and Carrie avenues are tagged with graffiti in what police say is a sign of an upswing in gang activity.
  • Gang Members Fight with Bricks and Clubs In Milton-Freewater

    About 25 gang members fight with bricks and clubs in the area of Northwest Fifth Avenue and Evans Street in Milton-Freewater. Shots are fired, but no injuries are reported.
  • Town-Hall Meeting Held In Milton-Freewater to Discuss Gang Problem

    More than 100 people attend a town-hall style meeting in Milton-Freewater to learn about the growing gang problem. People attending are told gangs have re-emerged in the city and are “thick” throughout rural Eastern Oregon.
  • Gang Members Arrested for Attack in Eastgate Area

    Three gang associates are arrested for an attack on a man in the Eastgate area.
  • Gang Members Arrested For Graffiti

    Three gang members suspected of spray painting graffiti at four locations in Walla Walla are arrested.
  • Gang-related Fights Break out at Washington State Penitentiary

    February — Officials reveal that members of two groups believed to be responsible for the bulk of gang-related assaults in the prison system have been moved to the Washington State Penitentiary. Several gang-related fights break out there in following months.
  • Milton-Freewater Passes Ordinance Allowing Closure of Houses With Recurring Crimes

    February — The Milton-Freewater City Council passes an ordinance allowing the closures of houses that are sites of recurring crimes. The ordinance is geared toward curbing gang activity after the upsurge last summer.
  • Two Stabbed at Balloon Stampede Nite Glow Festivities

    Two people are stabbed at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds during the Balloon Stampede’s Nite Glow activities. The assault follows harassment by a group of about 15 gang members, including a 15-year-old boy who later admits committing the attack. He will be locked up until his 21st birthday.
  • Gang Melee Breaks out Near St. Patrick Catholic Church

    Gang Melee Breaks out Near St. Patrick Catholic Church
    A gang-related melee breaks out shortly before midnight outside St. Patrick Catholic Church. At least three people are hurt after being hit, punched and kicked. Eight teenagers and young adults later are arrested and charged in Superior Court with various crimes. Most plead guilty, with sanctions ranging from jail time to work crew to suspended sentences.
  • Teens Arrested After Gang Confrontation at Wa-Hi

    Two teens are arrested after a gang-related confrontation at Walla Walla High School.
  • Shots Fired Near 2nd and Eagan Avenues Following Fight at Armory
    Up to a dozen shots are fired near Second and Eagan avenues in a gang-related shootout following a fight at the National Guard Armory. Apparently no one is hurt. A 19-year-old man later pleads guilty to firing rounds and is sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison.
  • Dayton Teen Beaten After Refusing to Join Gang

    A Dayton teenager is beaten, kicked and choked at a residence on Robinette Mountain Road because he refuses to join a gang. The teenaged assailants are sentenced to state detention.
  • Teen Gang Member Attacks Delivery Truck Driver in Eastgate
    A 16-year-old gang member attacks a delivery truck driver in Eastgate by hitting him in the head with a decorative lantern taken from the truck’s trailer. The youth later pleads guilty to first-degree robbery and sentenced to 103-129 weeks in a state juvenile institution.
  • Gang Member Leads Police on Vehicle Chase
    An admitted gang member leads police on a vehicle chase in the area of Ninth Avenue and strikes a fire hydrant. He later pleads guilty and is sentenced to 90 days in jail.
  • Teen Gang Member Seriously Injured When Struck in Head with Baseball Bat
    A teenaged gang member is seriously injured when he is struck in the head with a baseball bat during a fight involving up to eight people at 12th Avenue and Birch Street. A second teen also seeks medical treatment. Police say they have seen a sharp increase in gang violence over the past several months.
  • Young Man Who Was Part of St. Patrick Melee Leads Police on Vehicle Chase

    19-year-old man who participated in the massive fight outside St. Patrick Catholic Church in June 2009 is arrested after leading police on a chase in a vehicle near Ninth Avenue and Alder Street. A youth who is a passenger allegedly flees on foot after the vehicle strikes a parked vehicle. The juvenile is found in a house nearby; a loaded handgun is found in the van. Both suspects are arrested and identified as gang affiliates. The man later pleads guilty to having a gun in the vehicle.
  • Four Attacked By Gang Members At Center Street Party

    Four Attacked By Gang Members At Center Street Party
    Four men are attacked, allegedly by two gang members at a birthday party on Center Street in one of the worst cases of violence in the area in two decades. Three of the victims — who have no known gang affiliation ­— are stabbed; two of them are shot. One of the alleged gang members also is mistakenly stabbed.
  • Law Enforcement Officials Raid House Across From Garrison Middle School
    Law enforcement officials raid a house across from Garrison Middle School and arrest a man who sold drugs from the residence. He later pleads guilty to two counts of delivering cocaine. Police said the home had been the site of numerous gang problems.