REGIONAL, Wash. — How does law enforcement decide when to bring in reinforcements? Kennewick police responded to a shooting Wednesday morning that brought out almost every law agency in the Tri-Cities, which differs from a situation that happened on Tuesday in Pasco, with similar circumstances, that saw much fewer officers responding.
The two shootings happened within 24 hours of each other.
In Pasco, in a situation where a man shot someone, sending them to the hospital in serious condition, Pasco PD and Pasco FD responded.
“Obviously there's a weapon involved, and an individual sustained the injury, the reason that Pasco decided not to initiate a SWAT call out was because of the cooperation of the individuals involved,” explained Sgt. Thomas Groom with the Pasco Police Department.
Police said the shooter in question was cooperative, and was actually the person who made the initial 911 call.
That wasn’t the case in the shooting in Kennewick, where police said the suspect was not cooperative at first.
Kennewick PD activated the Tri-City Regional SWAT Team, “just due to the nature of the fact that he was an armed person,” explained Sgt. Chris Littrell with the Kennewick Police Department. “He'd already shot a gun off, and we had some safety concerns.”
What we know right now, is that in Kennewick, a man was arrested after a large police and SWAT response, for unlawful discharge of a firearm, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
“That's why we call in the SWAT team, is when we have events that we believe are going to be dangerous, and we need those extra tools,” said Sgt. Littrell.
Had the man in Pasco not been cooperative, according to Sgt. Groom, there might have been a bigger police response.
“If we are dealing with individuals, suspects, who are not compliant, who are not following commands, who are armed, that's going to necessitate a higher presence of law enforcement and may necessitate certain assets like the SWAT team,” explained Sgt. Groom.
The Pasco man was not arrested, and the shooting is still under investigation.
Police said neither of these appear to be random shootings.
Rylee Fitzgerald joins the KAPP/KVEW team as a multimedia journalist as her first job in journalism after graduating college. She graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University with a degree in Journalism and Media Production in May 2022.
She started her journalism career at Hanford High School in Richland where she spent four years on the Falcon Report broadcasting team. She is an ardent writer and is typically found hunched over her computer writing either her novel, or a news story. With her love for writing, and her high school experience in broadcasting, nothing made more sense than to continue studying journalism in college.
Rylee finished her degree in just three years as an ambassador for the communication college, a producer for a Cable 8 Productions series, a camera operator for CougVision, and an MMJ for Murrow News 8. She spent a summer as a news intern at our sister station, KXLY, in Spokane before her senior year at WSU.
Rylee was born and raised in Tri-Cities, and eagerly comes back home after finishing college. She has a lot of pride for eastern Washington, as it’s the only place she’s ever called home.