Gun violence in Pullman rises 

Sixteen crimes involving a gun in the last year

CALLIE GERBER

The number of gun crimes in Pullman has increased, and in the past year, there have been 16 crimes involving a gun.

Two of the 16 cases involved a domestic dispute, and two of the cases were related to suicide, according to public records. Of the 16 cases in the past year involving a gun, six of the calls were threatening.

“We take a zero-tolerance approach when it comes to weapon offenses,” said Jake Opgenorth, Pullman Police Department operations commander. “We’re not going to look the other way; we’re going to enforce what we can, as much as we can.”

On Sept. 11, shots were fired at the Hills on Grand apartments, according to public records. Three people called the police to let them know they all heard gunshot noises around apartment 453B.

The resident of apartment 453B was on the other side of the room when the shots were fired and tried to get everyone at the party out, according to public records. 

Police arrived at the scene and went into the backyard of the apartment, according to public records. On a secondary search, officers found four used .380 caliber Winchester cartridges.

Witnesses said the dispute occurred over either a stolen speaker or a woman, according to public records.  

On Sept. 25, a fatal shooting occurred near WSU’s campus, leaving one person dead and the other severely injured, according to a Daily Evergreen article

After a few hours, George Melvin Harris III turned himself in. Harris claimed self-defense after being jumped. Harris admitted the gun on the scene was his, and the shell casings on the scene matched, according to a Daily Evergreen article

Harris was released from jail on a $10,000 bail. Opgenorth said PPD is actively investigating the shooting.

In October 2020, three girls were walking in an alleyway near the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, also known as Fiji. To get to their destination quicker, they took a shortcut through the Fiji backyard, according to public records. 

When they stepped into the backyard, the girls said a man came out of the building, shot a gun into the air and then waved the gun around, according to public records. When Pullman police questioned the man, he said he had a baseball bat that night, not a gun.

Other incidents include a traffic offense where a police officer found a gun in a car and a person shooting a pellet gun to intimidate their neighbor, according to public records. 

Additionally, two people possessed a firearm unlawfully, according to public records. There was a case where someone reported a group of people with rifles. Police found WSU Army ROTC cadets conducting a march.