Injured woman says shooting was not drive-by

Fight over missing pistol may have led to gunfire

January 10, 2013 - Updated: 4:30 a.m.

The 18-year-old woman who was shot Jan. 1 in what Spokane police previously described as a possible drive-by shooting told police that she believes she was shot twice by someone inside the home where a fight broke out over a missing pistol during a New Year’s Eve party.

Detectives found ammunition for four different caliber guns at the home at 4207 N. Jefferson St., where neighbors have complained about parties for years.

Police responded to a 911 call at 3:15 a.m. on Jan. 1 after neighbors reported hearing seven to 12 gunshots. When officers arrived, they found 18-year-old Kelsey Christian bleeding from two gunshot wounds to the upper torso, according to court records.

Officers also noted six bullet holes on the exterior of the home that appeared to have been fired from outside. But when other detectives began searching the home later that morning, Detective Ben Estes called his colleagues to say that Christian “told him she believes she was shot by a gun fired inside the residence.”

Christian initially was listed as critical, but her condition has since been upgraded, according to police. Efforts to reach Christian on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

The homeowner, Steven Knapp, told investigators that he hosted a large party New Year’s Eve during which an unidentified male became upset because his coat, containing a small-caliber pistol, was missing.

“Eventually the coat was found but the pistol was missing,” Detective Chet Gilmore wrote. Knapp “speculates that the drive-by shooting may have been in retaliation for somebody stealing the pistol.”

Detectives found two kitchen cabinet doors with bullet fragments, several bullet fragments elsewhere in the home and a bloodstained T-shirt in the basement sink.

Last week, police officials sought public help in locating Kurt Garber and Mychal Wahl, both 23, in connection to the investigation. On Friday, police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said both Garber and Wahl had been located, questioned and released.

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