Gang violence in Yakima: 5 people shot in 1 week

Gang violence in Yakima: 5 people shot in 1 week »Play Video
YPD's Gang Unit

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Five people have been shot in one week in Yakima. That had you demanding demanding answers on Facebook, so Action News took those questions directly to YPD's gang unit.

"Every weekend is the same." "I wonder how many will get shot tonight?" Those are comments left on the KIMA Action News Facebook page after more gunfire in Yakima.

"I hear a shooting on 44th," said Yakima resident John Ryan. "A shooting on Naches, Cherry."

In just a week, one man was shot on 3rd Street, one killed on Chestnut, one injured on 10th Avenue and two people were hit on 44th Avenue.

While Ryan is surrounded by gang shootings, he says the gang unit is quick to respond.

Still comment after comment asks, "Where is the gang unit?"

YPD Gang Unit Sergeant David Cortez says 10 violent gang bangers were put behind bars that same week.

Reporter: "It's your job to do something about this. What are you doing to make people feel safe?"

Cortez: "The thing is that with, as far as the police department goes, we are doing a lot of different things. Every single night looking for gang members to put away."

"Now do we have a strategy in place? Absolutely," he said. "It is going to take a while? Yes it is. So, what I am asking from people is just a little patience."

Cortez also wants you to do things like use the gang hotline and join a neighborhood watch group.

Reporter: "For the people who are at home saying, okay, yes maybe they are targeting each other, but with all the bullets flying in the air, I'm still scared."

Cortez: " You know, the thing is, is there's going to be innocent people caught in the crossfire? Yes. Is it common? No. Are we doing everything we possibly can to make sure it doesn't happen? Yes, we absolutely are."

Yakima decided to double the size of the gang unit next year. The increase is expected to cost almost half a million dollars.

You can leave tips on the gang unit hotline at 575-GANG.