June 24, 2009 in City

Suspect in machete attack is brother of GU gunman

Their father blamed LSD for shooting spree in 1971
Meghann M. Cuniff meghannc@spokesman.com, (509) 459-5534
 

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A Spokane family devastated by the death of a son nearly 40 years ago in what was called an LSD-fueled shooting spree has been hit by misfortune again, after another son was arrested in a machete attack last week.

Nearly four decades before Douglas W. Harmon, 49, was accused of attacking a teenage couple with the blade outside Harmon’s Spokane apartment June 17, his older brother, Larry, was killed by police in a gunfight at Gonzaga University in 1971.

The men’s father, E. Glenn Harmon, a former journalist and prominent Spokane attorney who represented The Spokesman-Review and Spokane Chronicle, blamed his son’s LSD use for the shooting and started a fund to study the drug’s effects on the brain.

Glenn Harmon died in 1994.

Now his youngest son is in a mental hospital, charged with two counts of first-degree assault after Spokane police used a Taser to subdue him.

Larry Harmon was 21 when he stormed St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church with a .22-caliber rifle Nov. 11, 1971, killing a janitor and injuring four others before being shot to death by police.

The incident shook Spokane and prompted Glenn Harmon to denounce LSD, also blaming the drug for an incident a year earlier in which Larry Harmon was jailed in Jerusalem for climbing the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

“I had no idea of the terrible potential of LSD until I saw what it did to my son, Larry,” Glenn Harmon wrote in a guest newspaper column. “He was a brilliant student.”

Douglas Harmon was transferred to Eastern State Hospital in lieu of a court appearance after reports that he was having “issues” in jail, Spokane County Superior Court Judge Ellen Kalama Clark said last week.

An 18-year-old Spokane man, Eddie Ramsey, suffered a broken arm and needed more than 100 stitches after Harmon attacked him without provocation in the 200 block of West Sixth Avenue, police say.

Police found Harmon clutching the machete and arrested him.

Douglas Harmon’s older sister, Nadine Sherman, declined comment Tuesday, and police provided no information on his background.

Glenn Harmon described Douglas Harmon as a loving brother in the guest commentary that ran after his older son’s death.

Glenn Harmon’s wife was out of town the day of the Gonzaga shooting, and Larry Harmon had been caring for Douglas.

When Douglas Harmon left for school in Worley, Idaho, by bus, his older brother left for Spokane.

“He left a note for his brother, Douglas, on the kitchen counter at home,” Glenn Harmon wrote in the column. “The note said: Doug – Remember to feed the dogs when you get home.”


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