Gun violence increasing in the Tri-Cities

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- KEPR learned more crimes in the Tri-Cities are being committed using guns.

Gun violence is a sensitive subject for Neresa Fountain. She recently lost her childhood friend to murder. She said, "Her husband took her and her two children's lives."

The Oregon man shot his family with a borrowed gun. "He didn't like that fact that they were getting a divorce," Neresa continues.

With two kids of her own, Neresa finds the whole issue hard to solve.

"I wouldn't say guns are the problem. Just as drugs are illegal, people still get their hands on them."

And police agree. Especially since more guns are being sold in the Tri-Cities.

Cpt. Mike Cobb explains, "More does not equal bad. A lot of people make that link and it's not always the case."

Regardless of the gun sales, the number of crimes involving guns has increased here in the Tri-Cities.

In 2012, there were 25 crimes involving guns in Richland.. Ten more than the year before.That's shootings, SWAT situations and assaults.
And there were 39 guns seized from people who weren't allowed to have them.

Richland Police say they've seen a gradual increase in gun violence for the last 30 years. Neresa still trust her community, but worries about what's on the horizon.

"As the Tri-Cities grows, probably more violence."

Which police will work hard to prevent. KEPR also learned that if a gun is seized as part of an investigation, after a certain period, the gun can be sold to a federal gun trading company that will re-sell the weapon.