KENNEWICK, Wash. - Gang related shootings or stabbings can go beyond the streets and threaten the safety of innocent bystanders. It happened Saturday night when a big gang fight in Kennewick sent four people to the hospital with stab wounds.
Officers had to figure out which victims were with what affiliation and then sent them to separate hospitals, including Kennewick General Hospital which went on lockdown when those patients arrived.
"The kind of operation that we are, we have to be ready for anything 24/7," said Lisa Teske of KGH.
KGH treated some of the victims from the gang fight.
"We'll always have our dispatchers call each of the three hospitals and advise them that there are people that were involved in a large fight. There is a possibility that other combatants could show up at the emergency room, so to be aware of that," said Sergeant Ken Lattin with the Kennewick Police Department.
"We're looking out for the safety and well being of our patients and for our staff who are providing the care so we have those procedures in place just to make sure if we're presented with a security situation we're ready to address it and work with local law enforcement to make sure that everybody's safe," Teske said.
Teske said everyone who works at KGH goes through a security orientation when they're hired which varies depending on their job and where they're located in the hospital. KGH, Kadlec and Lourdes all have security on staff, as well.
On Saturday, aside from one of the stabbing victims needing further treatment in Seattle, everyone else was safe.
"In this case, they are of the same general gang but different subsets of that gang and apparently they don't get along and that's what resulted," Lattin said.
"Anytime that we need to call on our local law enforcement, there's never a hesitation there. Of course, they're wonderful to work with. Extremely responsive and they know exactly what to do and they're right there on the spot ready to handle it," Teske said.