The deadly school shooting this month near Spokane, Washington, provided at least one suspect the opportunity to further victimize a local family, KIRO reports.
A Facebook post from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office explained that authorities are looking for anyone involved in the theft of a purse left in one parent’s car as she rushed into Freeman High School to check on her children in the wake of the September 13 shooting.
The property crime took place amid the confusion created when a gunman opened fire, killing one student and injuring three other individuals at the school. Deputies arrested the suspected shooter, 15-year-old student Caleb Sharpe, shortly after the shooting.
In subsequent days, authorities say more than $36,000 in fraudulent credit card and check transactions have been made on the victim’s accounts.
According to The Register-Guard, the victim’s vehicle was one of many in abandoned along a two-lane road in the small town of Rockford as worried locals ran toward the school to make sure their loved ones were safe.
Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Gregory called the theft of a purse “hastily left behind by a worried parent” a “particularly heinous” act.
“Property crimes themselves are typically hard for victims to deal with, especially when identity theft and fraud are involved,” Gregory said in a statement, “but the fact these criminals took advantage of such a tragic situation is particularly heinous.”
In its Facebook post, the sheriff’s office released surveillance camera images of two women they believe could be connected to the crime. Investigators are asking locals for information about the individuals or a car also pictured in the advisory.
“Anyone with information regarding this theft or can help identify these suspect(s), please call Detective Dean Meyer at 509-477-3159 reference #10123636,” the post concluded.
[Feature Photo: Spokane County Sheriff’s Office]