Local news

In brief: Dispute call brought police

Police dispatchers received two 911 calls reporting domestic violence at the northwest Spokane home where officers shot and killed a 26-year-old man early Sunday, the Washington State Patrol said Thursday.

Investigators believe a physical altercation occurred between Kenneth R. Dennis and his girlfriend, Crystal A. Barrett, 24, before police arrived at 5726 N. Elgin St., Trooper Troy Briggs said in a news release.

In a search warrant filed Wednesday, Spokane police said Dennis was shot after he “almost stabbed one of the officers.”

According to the warrant, Cassandra L. Shear, Barrett’s friend, called police to say that Barrett “was locked inside the house and was being pushed by her intoxicated boyfriend.” She called again to say she wasn’t being allowed in the home.

A 13-inch knife was found near Dennis’ body, the WSP said. Shell casings from the two officers also were recovered.

The officers, who have not been publicly identified, have not yet been interviewed, said Briggs, spokesman for the multi-agency investigative team.

Gunman robs Comfort Inn

A gunman robbed a north Spokane motel on Wednesday.

The man entered the Comfort Inn lobby at 7111 N. Division St. just before 10 p.m. with the gun and fled with out the back door with cash.

The culprit is described as 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, clean shaven and in his mid-20s with a red baseball hat, black shirt and black pants.

Police don’t know if the robbery is connected to a holdup at the Days Inn, 120 W. Third Ave., Tuesday about 9 p.m. That robber was described as white, in his early 20s, 6 feet tall and 200 pounds with very short hair and acne scars on his face.

Anyone with information on either case is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Electronic gear stolen

A large amount of electronic equipment was stolen from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Spokane Valley this week.

Police said they believe the thief or thieves may have hidden inside the church before it closed Tuesday, and then removed thousands of dollars worth of electronics overnight.

The burglary was reported to police Wednesday morning.

Officers learned that televisions, stereo equipment, headsets, microphones, laminating machines, DVD players, PowerPoint projectors and other items were taken from the church at 3606 S. Schafer Road.

The theft occurred after a function on Tuesday evening, police said. There were no signs of forced entry, leading to the possibility that entry was gained during open hours.

Large cans taken from the garbage area apparently were used to cart off the items.

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Standoff ends in arrest

A woman armed with a handgun and accused of threatening her husband was arrested after a police standoff early Thursday in northwest Spokane.

Rhonda R. Thompson, 49, was described by her husband as extremely agitated and combative when officers arrived near 2500 W. Houston Ave. about 3:30 a.m.

The man said Thompson was highly intoxicated and was threatening him with a handgun, police said.

Police spent more than an hour trying to get Thompson out of the home. She was arrested without incident, and a firearm was found in her bedroom.

She was in jail Thursday night on a felony harassment charge.

“Domestic violence calls for service are consistently dangerous and unpredictable. Most parties are emotionally involved and require the patience of responding officers to defuse the situations,” according to a police news release.  “Fortunately, in this … incident, both the involved parties and the officers safely walked away from a potentially life threatening situation.”

Repairs mean early release

LaCrosse School District will release its students at 1 p.m. today to make repairs to a steam boiler system that heats the building, officials announced Thursday.

“Earlier this week, we detected a leak in one of our steam pipes and it wasn’t something we could hold off fixing until the spring,” said Superintendent Gary Wargo. “Unfortunately we find out about these problems in the winter.”

The 97-student district is about 90 miles southwest of Spokane.

The heat will have to be shut down between 10 and 11 a.m., Wargo said. The students will eat lunch, then the buses will be brought in.

The heating system work should be completed tonight.


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