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Suicide by cop? What can be done?

Good evening, Netizens...

It could not have happened at a worse time of the day than at or just before rush hour hit the corner of Monroe and Indiana and Northwest Boulevard. The traffic at that intersection always tends to be tough to navigate; even worse when everyone hits the intersection on their way home. Add one addled gunman firing indiscriminate shots into the air and later on at encroaching police officers and police officers returning gunfire and killing the man and you have mass pandemonium.

There are restaurants, a sub sandwich shop and all kinds of other businesses at this corner. People were walking in the area, and thus became witnesses to the shooting. It is surprising none of the bystanders were killed or injured. At least one house was hit by gunfire, source unknown.

Based upon what limited information is currently available a man, name unknown, left a house on Cedar and eventually ended up at the Indiana address, shooting a rifle or shotgun into the air sporadically. When police instructed him to drop the weapon he fired it at them. Eventually he was surrounded and shot by Spokane Police.

There may be several versions, multiple choice details to this crime, but as far as I can tell from what little public information that exists, I would term this “Suicide by cop”. I can think of no other reason a man in possession of his senses, surrounded by police officers, would continue shooting his gun in the air in the vicinity of a busy city intersection. Now the real question remains: what can we as concerned individuals do to stop suicide by cop?

Is it because we emptied our state hospitals and put people who are dangerous to themselves or others on the streets? Is it because our economy is peering back at us out of the bottom of the toilet?


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.