Granato says Yakima needs federally funded gang task force - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Granato says Yakima needs federally funded gang task force

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YAKIMA, Wash. - Police Chief Sam Granato said Tuesday the latest homicide is another sign the city needs federal funding for a gang task force.

"The type of attack is very reminiscent in my experience of a prison gang hit," said Granato of Sunday's shooting on Pleasant Ave. "Up close and personal."

Yakima has tried to get FBI resources from the Safe Streets Act, Granato says, but the request has been denied twice. The federally backed gang task force would bring new equipment, vehicles, and the ability to use wiretaps. Granato says it is a program the city needed 10 years ago and is requesting again.

The suspects in the homicide over the weekend fired 14 shots at Daniel Rivera, 18, according to police. He later died at Yakima Regional Hospital.

Granato says their method of changing clothing and attacking in broad daylight suggests a type of training found in prisons. It prepares gang members to be bold and less afraid of law enforcement.

He also said that the suspects in Sunday's shooting were trying to send a message.

"They don't care who's watching," said Granato.

While the city waits to see if they will get that task force, the police chief says additional emphasis patrols have already been planned for this summer.