November 5, 2010 in City

Police: Man in standoff was suicidal and arguing with family

Situation ends peacefully near elementary school
By The Spokesman-Review
 

A police standoff with an unstable, armed man ended peacefully near Westview Elementary School in northwest Spokane on Thursday morning. The school canceled classes for the day.

Police cordoned off an area around North Fotheringham Street and West Decatur Avenue and sent a negotiator to the scene to get the man to give up his handgun peacefully.

Police took the man into protective custody about 9:30 a.m., said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, Spokane Police Department spokeswoman.

The home where the standoff took place in the 3700 block of West Decatur is across the street from Westview at 6104 N. Moore St.

Terren Roloff, school district spokeswoman, said administrators made the decision to close the school about 8:30 a.m.

The incident began about 6 a.m.

DeRuwe said the man had been in an argument with family members and was described as suicidal. At one point before police arrived, the man fired his weapon.

DeRuwe said that the man was refusing to drop his weapon and come out of the house.

“We are going to provide him with the help he needs,” she said from the scene.

SWAT officers arrived on the scene along with a contingent of public school safety officers. Additional patrol officers were called to control traffic and keep the area cordoned off. A mobile command post was set up.

Fire Department paramedics and a private ambulance were also on the scene.

Police went door-to-door to warn residents to stay inside and possibly seek shelter in their basements, DeRuwe said.

School officials notified parents and with the help of police set up a safe zone for children to wait for their parents. The Westview school bus ran its regular route and brought children to the safe zone as well.

In a news release later in the day, DeRuwe said, “This was a truly great collaborative effort by both Spokane Public Schools and the Spokane Police Department to guarantee the safety of our neighborhoods and community.”


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