Arrow-right Camera


Gunman subdued after shots fired at woman’s home

Tue., July 10, 2012, 6:30 a.m.

A Spokane burglary suspect believed to have fired several rounds at an elderly woman’s front door was arrested after a sheriff’s corporal shot him with bean bags in front of another would-be victim’s home early Saturday.

Ernest Earl Strebeck, 46, was armed with a handgun when members of the sheriff’s SWAT team confronted him as he sat on the porch of a home at 6536 N. Freya St.

Strebeck refused commands to lower the gun, and instead stood up and stepped down from the porch. He then tossed the handgun onto the porch and walked away with his hands in his pockets. Cpl. Jeff Shover used a shotgun to fire three bean bags at Strebeck – enough to subdue and put him in handcuffs. He was taken to a hospital and later jailed.

Sheriff’s officials were searching for Streback after Kelly Hull, who lives in a residence at 4001 E. Francis Ave., called 911 at about 4:15 a.m. and said a stranger was trying to bash in the door to her grandmother’s home nearby with a large flower pot. Hull said the man told her he was “trying to get in” when she asked him what he was doing. He then pulled out a gun and fired at the door. He then turned and began walking toward Hull as she stood with her son.

“It was like the worst experience ever when he started walking toward us,” Hull said. “I thought he was going to kill us because we’d yelled at him.”

But the man, identified by police as Streback, continued walking. A neighbor who awoke to the gunfire confronted him and asked him to stop, but Streback pointed the gun at him and said “do you really want me to stop?” police said. That man also called 911.

Streback walked to the North Freya home, where he started rattling the door handle and told a 43-year-old woman who lived there “open the door unless you want to get shot through the door!” The woman hid under a large metal desk in the back of her home and called 911.

Before Streback was struck with the bean bag rounds from the shotgun, he told a deputy “I’ll drop the gun when you shoot me,” according to court documents.

Hull said she had just arrived home from her job as a bartender at the Country Place Bar and Grill when she heard the commotion. She said her grandmother, who is in her 80s, woke up but assumed the noise was from fireworks. Hull said her grandmother is “doing OK.”

“She’s a rock,” Hull said.

Hull said she has no idea why Streback targeted the home.

“We’d never heard his name before,” Hull said.

Strebeck remains jailed on $100,000 bond after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court Monday on assault and attempted burglary charges.

There are nine comments on this story »