King County cracks down on gangs after violent start to year

by: Henry Rosoff Updated:

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KIRO 7 was the only station invited to ride along with a special emphasis patrol targeting gang violence in southern King County Wednesday night.

Since Jan. 1, deputies said they have dealt with more than 70 incidents of shots fires in southern King County.

That violence includes a rash of homicides between April 15-19 across Federal Way, Seattle and Burien.

Primarily police say the trouble comes down to two gangs trading insults and gunfire.

The deputies KIRO 7 was with were canvassing known gang areas and tracing fresh graffiti.

They stopped two men in the South Park neighborhood because they were wearing clothing often associated with gang affiliations.

Neither illegal drugs nor weapons were found, and neither had warrants out for their arrests.

The deputies took pictures for future reference and let them go.

Two blocks away, however, they detained a more established gang member.

Again, no weapons nor drugs were found, but he was arrested on an outstanding arson warrant.

Later in the evening, deputies detained a group of five suspected gang members.

While the stop was underway, about 10 shots rang out nearby.

Deputies believe other gang members were trying to intimidate the officers because of the crackdown.

Police could not locate those who fired the shots.