October 27, 2010 in City

Man killed by deputy had been suicidal

Report portrays Dodd as mentally unstable
By The Spokesman-Review
 

A man shot and killed by a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy on Sunday underwent a mental evaluation after trying to commit suicide last summer.

A police report obtained Tuesday said Quentin Donald Dodd, 50, told officers “he was upset with his life and didn’t want to live anymore” when he walked down to the train tracks at Perry Street and Indiana Avenue in Spokane Valley in July.

The 3-month-old report portrays the latest target of police gunfire to be a mentally unstable man who told police he’d considered fighting with the arresting officer “because he wanted to die.”

Police haven’t said if they believe Dodd’s death Sunday night was what’s commonly referred to as “suicide by cop.”

The Spokane Police Department, which is leading a multi-agency investigation into the shootings, expects to release more information on Thursday, including the deputy’s identity.

Dodd’s brother, Walter Dodd, said the report is untrue and said his brother was not mentally unstable. He said his family has hired a lawyer.

Dodd was living at Restoration Ministries, a home for people recovering from problems such as drugs and alcohol addiction, when residents called police about 7:30 p.m. Dodd was gone when deputies arrived at the duplex at 507 N. Sommer Road.

A deputy found him holding an obsidian knife in the middle of Progress Road, about a block from the faith-based halfway house. The deputy requested assistance, then at some point opened fire. Dodd was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Obsidian knives are handcrafted from volcanic rock and typically mounted onto wild game antlers.

Dodd had lived at the home about 2 1/2 months after completing a drug rehabilitation program in Spokane Valley, family said.

Homeowner Melinda Seymour said Dodd was angry and threatening residents with the weapon before deputies arrived.

It’s unclear where Dodd was living when police responded to the train tracks near Mission Park about 6:40 p.m. on July 9.

A train conductor had reported a shirtless man lying in the train tracks “screaming at the train to hit him,” according to the report. The conductor was able to stop the train and Dodd was spotted walking toward Mission Park.

He told officers he was diabetic, had heart problems and hadn’t had anything to eat or drink in 24 hours when he tried to get killed by a train, police said.

“Officer (Ron) Voeller said (Dodd) had initially wanted to fight him because he wanted to die,” according to the report. “(Dodd) mentioned that ‘some people’ wanted to kill him, and he has nothing more to live for. He wouldn’t go into any further detail on the people he was talking about.”

Dodd was taken to Providence Scared Heart Medical Center for a mental evaluation.


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