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Gunfire erupts in Lower Valley

six homes targeted by gang members

The natives are restless! More accurately, the Lower Yakima Valley's criminal element apparently is at war with one another.

In what police are calling gang-related incidents, six Lower Valley homes were targeted by gunfire last night. Miraculously, none of the occupants in any of the six homes were hit by the bullets.

Thursday night's drive-by shootings come on the heel of an armed attack of a South 10th Street home in Sunnyside the previous night, where a 13-year-old girl inside the house was struck twice by gunfire. She has since been flown to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, where she's listed as being in critical condition.

Last night's rampage erupted at about 8:30 p.m. Yakima County Sheriff's deputies and Grandview police officers raced to a home in the 2200 block of Olmstead Road near Grandview, after it was reported a home had been struck by about a dozen bullets. Sheriff's Office spokesman Mike Russell said the bullets passed through the walls of the house, narrowly missing several of the occupants.

"Indications are that a shotgun and additional firearms were used," said Russell, adding that the vehicle the shooters were in is believed to be a dark-colored sport utility vehicle.

Just 30 minutes later, at about 9 p.m., the occupants of what's believed to be a burgundy-colored Ford Expedition opened fire on a home in the 800 block of Sunnyside's West Edison Road. Russell said it appears about 16 shots were fired at the house, with multiple rounds striking the residence. Police believe a rifle was used in this armed attack. Like the previous attack from 30 minutes earlier, no one was injured.

At about 9:20 p.m., a home in the 300 block of Avenue E in Grandview was fired upon multiple times. There were eight people at home at the time of the shooting and all were reportedly uninjured.

At 11:15 p.m. Thursday night, the criminal gang members moved the battle field to Outlook. There, two homes in the 10 block of First Avenue were fired upon, but like earlier in the evening, nobody sustained wounds.

"Multiple rounds were fired and several rounds entered the residences," said Russell of the Outlook attacks, noting the weapons of choice appeared to be handguns.

The shooters in Outlook, believed to be gang members, were in a dark-colored Honda.

Russell said sheriff's deputies had already saturated the Lower Valley area because of the earlier incidents, so they were quickly on the scene in Outlook and proceeded to stop several dark-colored Hondas, although no suspects were taken into custody.

The rampage wasn't over, however, as another home in the Granger area was targeted by gunmen at about 2 a.m. this morning (Friday). The occupants of the house, located in the 700 block of Hudson Road, escaped injury.

Russell said the assailants used handguns in the attack, and it's been determined that at least 16 rounds were fired, with several penetrating the home.

This shooting, too, said Russell, is believed to be gang-related.

He added that several particular commonalities between last night's shootings and the one on Wednesday night in which the 13-year-old Sunnyside girl was struck twice by gunfire are being investigated. Russell said anyone with information about any of these incidents is encouraged to contact the Yakima County Sheriff's Office at 574-2500.

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