WALLA WALLA — Three people outside a residence in the 1100 block of West Cherry Street were wounded late Thursday night when shots were fired from an unknown passing vehicle, police said.
The two men and one woman in their early 20s suffered non-life threatening injuries, although at least one of the victims — a man who recently has been staying at the residence at 1140 W. Cherry — underwent surgery at Providence St. Mary Medical Center, police Sgt. Chris Buttice said this morning.
The victims were not identified as of press time today and officials had few details because the crime scene was still being processed. But Buttice said initial findings indicate the shooting may not have been directly related to gang activity.
No suspect had yet been identified and no arrests made.
Officials were notified of five or six shots fired about 11:35 p.m., with one neighbor seeing headlights on an unspecified type of car leaving the scene.
The victim who later underwent surgery suffered injuries to his arm and leg. The other man, who also reportedly has been staying at the residence, was hit in the arm.
After they were taken to St. Mary by ambulance, the woman arrived to check on them and it was discovered she suffered a glancing blow to her buttocks — either from a bullet or flying gravel, according to Buttice.
The house next door at 1144 W. Cherry also was hit several times, but probably because it was in the line of fire, he added.
The type of weapon and the number of times each victim was struck still were under investigation this morning. Interviews with the victims were pending.
Buttice said the shooting apparently was not connected with recent reports of shots fired in town or directly tied to gangs. “The evidence would not support any link,” he said.
Although the man who underwent surgery is known to associate with gang members and police have responded to gang-related complaints such as parties and a fight at the house in the past, the shooting is not believed to have stemmed from rival gang animosities.
Buttice explained that based on what was known this morning, the man could have been targeted as the result of a personal dispute with a person who may not have gang ties. The other victims may just have been in the line of fire.
“This may be a friend (who got mad) at a friend,” Buttice said.
“It’s pretty sketchy right now. We have so little to go on.”