Officers in shooting identified
Investigators won’t release details about fatality
Two Spokane police officers who shot at and killed a 34-year-old man outside a Hillyard bar were identified Thursday as Cpl. Zac Storment and Officer Chris Douville.
Storment and Douville shot at Jeremy Groom as he was pointing a gun at another man in the parking lot of the Special K Bar and Grill, 3817 N. Market St., about 9:37 p.m. on Saturday.
Police performed CPR, but Groom died at the scene.
Storment, 37, has 10 years experience with the Spokane Police Department. Douville, 26, has two years experience.
The men, who were interviewed by investigators on Wednesday, remain on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is leading the probe.
Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan would not say how many shots the men fired, citing pending interviews with witnesses. The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office has refused to say how many times Groom was shot.
“Chief (Anne) Kirkpatrick commends the officers involved for facing a life and death situation with courage,” police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said in a news release.
Groom had pointed a gun at his own head and threatened suicide Saturday when his friends called police.
Groom’s longtime friend, Robert Thompson Jr. is critical of the police response and said officers didn’t give Groom time to drop his gun. Groom was pointing a handgun at Thompson, but Thompson said he doesn’t believe his friend would have pulled the trigger.
According to a search warrant filed on Wednesday, “Groom did not comply with police officer commands to drop the gun.”
The warrant, prepared by Spokane County sheriff’s Detective James Dresback, was used to search Groom’s girlfriend’s 2002 Nissan Altima.
The car had a bullet hole in the left rear bumper investigators believe was caused by a .223 round fired from an officer’s rifle, according to the warrant. The document did not indicate which officer fired the rifle.
Detectives seized a holster and metal fragments from the vehicle but did not recover a bullet, according to the search warrant.
Groom, a former Marine, was licensed to carry a concealed handgun. State law prohibits guns inside bars, but friends say Groom kept the gun in the center console of his car and didn’t access it until he was outside.