SPD says new laws hindering investigation (Sunnyside Police Dept)
SPD says new laws hindering investigation (Sunnyside Police Dept)

Sunnyside Police say a shocking Cinco de Mayo festival shooting was gang-related

Gang member-shooter targeted rival but hit civilians instead

The Friday shooting at the Sunnyside annual festival was the result of a gang member trying to hit a rival, instead, he struck five other people.

An adult, several juveniles and a 7-year-old boy were hit. Fortunately, none of them suffered life-threatening injuries. Sunnyside Police say it was not an active shooter situation and the result of gang rivalries.

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Several juveniles were cornered in a nearby residence and finally surrendered but then Police released some of them to the custody of their parents. It is not specifically known if any of these were the shooter or what their exact roles were.

    The release of potential suspects raises anger in the community.

In addition to Federal law stating law enforcement cannot hold a juvenile for more than six hours in a secured environment (investigative hold) the SPD also said some of the new laws that passed the legislature and went into effect in July 2021 hindered their efforts. Their statement read in part from May 9:

 "law enforcement officers may no longer conduct interviews/interrogations of juveniles without the juvenile first having access to legal counsel.  A juvenile cannot waive this restriction even if they want to waive their rights and agree to speak with officers.  All of these factors combined, placed the department in a position where we could not process and filter the evidence collected to develop the probable cause necessary to charge a specific suspect within the time limits set by federal regulations."

The investigation continues, anyone with any potential information is urged to call 509-836-6200.

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