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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Browne's Addition

Multiple guns found in felon, robbery suspect’s home

A police search of a home near a Browne's Addition convenience store robbed multiple times last month revealed multiple guns thought to be owned by the nine-time convicted felon implicated in the thefts.

Justin Werle, 28, remains in custody at Spokane County Jail, facing charges of owning modified weapons illegally. He was previously implicated in at least one attempted robbery at Sunset Grocery, 1908 W. Sunset Blvd. on Dec. 28. But police said the store had been robbed twice previously in the previous four weeks and they thwarted Werle's plot for a third.

Investigators think the same white man - disguised in a hooded sweatshirt, gloves and a bandana - committed the two successful robberies. Police found a .22 revolver, a rifle and an “old rusty revolver” in Werle's residence, just behind the convenience store. Also recovered was a pack of cigarettes matching the brand of a carton stolen from the store earlier and a pair of gloves that appeared similar to those worn by the robber.

Prosecutors have not yet said whether they will pursue additional robbery charges against Werle, who was released from prison in January 2013 after serving time on multiple riot charges. A woman who identified herself as Werle's mother appeared at a court hearing last week, saying her son showed up at the convenience store armed with a sawed-off shotgun to protect a clerk who was concerned about the recent spate of robberies.

$500,000 bond for Browne’s Addition shooting suspect

Justin C. Werle appeared in court Wednesday afternoon and was given a $500,000 bond. Photo: Nicole Hensley

A missing work glove led to a shooting between a Browne’s Addition apartment tenant and his building’s handyman.

Spokane Police officers arrested Justin C. Werle Tuesday night after they closed off several blocks in the neighborhood and called a SWAT team to find the alleged shooter at the Pacific Terrace Apartments in the 2200 block of West Pacific.

The victim, identified as Zachary Bergstrom in court documents, told authorities a feud began earlier on Tuesday when Werle confronted him about a missing work glove, he told authorities. A shoving match started later that day between the two and Werle pulled out a gun and shot Bergstrom in the neck in the building’s alleyway.

Bergstrom clutched his neck and ran to the manager’s office where 911 was notified of the shooting, court documents show. He was alert and talking when medics took him to the hospital.

A K-9 unit dog tracked an unsuccessful lead to another apartment, officers said, but detectives called Werle’s mother, Donna Werle, and learned he wasn’t there.

She told detectives Werle called her and said he did not want to be taken alive and would shoot himself, but she convinced him to wait for police at her home. Officers found Werle walking near 13th Avenue and Coeur d’Alene Street.

Arson targets Browne’s Addition garbage can

A garbage can in Browne’s Addition was the target of about four fires starting on Saturday morning.

Ray Ekins lives nearby and was walking his dog Duchess around 7 a.m. when he saw the first set of flames inside the barrel at Second Avenue and Chestnut Street. The same garbage can was on fire again about an hour later, he said.

“Poor garbage can,” Ekins said. He ended up calling 911 to report three of the fires.

Fire crews from Station 4 kept responding to the reported garbage fires and a Spokane Police officer parked nearby to keep an eye on the can, Spokane Police Sgt. Dan Ervin said.

The officer saw a man, later identified as Philip B. Lewis, 47, walk up to the can and allegedly light it on fire around 4 p.m, Ervin added.

Officers took Lewis into custody for two counts of second-degree arson and the fire was extinguished.

Photo shows Browne’s Addition gunman

Spokane police today released a surveillance photo of a robbery last week at a Browne's Addition convenience store in hopes someone will recognize the gunman.

The robbery was reported about 11:49 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Sunset Grocery, 1908 W. Sunset Blvd.

The gunman is described as 20 to 22 years old, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7 and 150 to 160 pounds. He wore a black knit ski mask, dark hooded sweatshirt, black coat, dark loose pants and black and white athletic shoes. The gun is described as a black semi-automatic pistol.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

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