SPOKANE, Wash. - Following an early morning shooting after a private event at the Knitting Factory, the concert venue's management released the following statement Monday evening.
Knitting Factory Entertainment has reacted with concern, communication and action to the shooting incident that took place near its Spokane Knitting Factory concert house in the early hours of Monday, February 18, 2013 following a following a third party rental of the facility Sunday night.
Greg Marchant, Knitting Factory COO says, "We deplore the two incidents that took place near our venue and in Spokane this morning. We have strong security measures in place to ensure the safety of both our patrons and performing artists while attending and performing shows at the Knitting Factory. While it's far more difficult to control what might happen outside the venue—and in this case, a parking lot not owned or controlled by the Knitting Factory —we are working with the Spokane Police Department, the Mayor's office and the city to both cooperate fully with the investigation of the shootings and to do all we can do contribute to a culture of non-violence in music and entertainment."
He continues, "The actions of a very, very few people—and incidents like this—tarnish by extension the reputations of venues like ours. This Knitting Factory and its predecessors have operated a concert venue at this location for nearly ten years. Over one million patrons have safely enjoyed world-class entertainment at our venue over years of operation".
"We've spoken to Police Chief Straub and Mayor Condon's offices to offer our support in the investigation and to redouble our commitment to the safety of our artists and guests. We hope for a speedy recovery to all involved and to justice for the alleged perpetrators. We are looking forward to continuing our cultural contributions to the Downtown Arts District at the highest level of quality."
Marchant acknowledges that constructive and collaborative conversations occurred today with the city and in particular with the police. He continues, "We made a lot of progress today, and while we believe that these talks will lead to a solution that will prevent the cancelations of any events, we do intend to cancel this coming Friday's event as a "cooling off" gesture." We feel confident in our security policies at Knitting Factory and wish to continue the dialogue with the community in the hopes of increasing the peace."
Knitting Factory Entertainment has in fact acted recently to increase the sophistication of its downtown Arts District offerings. Just last Friday, it opened an upscale gastropub—the District Bar—adjacent to the Knitting Factory space, currently open for business every day but Sunday. It has its sights set on becoming the spot for theater and concert-goers flocking to the area nightly—not only to visit The Knitting Factory but also the nearby Bing Crosby and Fox Theatres.
Meanwhile, local fans have taken to Facebook to support the Knitting Factory, creating a page https://www.facebook.com/groups/139408409559467/?fref=ts called "Keep the Knitting Factory Open" that's attracted nearly 500 fans in the several hours it's been up.
Knitting Factory and District Bar General Manager Matt Judge concludes, "Knitting Factory Entertainment is committed to this neighborhood and to being an asset to the theater and arts community here in Spokane. We deplore the incident and will work hard with the City to achieve a combination of justice and community support."