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Officer shoots gunman in the leg

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2012

Police shot a man in northeast Spokane early Sunday after he refused to drop a firearm he reportedly had pointed at another person.

“The officer fired one time” striking the man in the leg, said Deputy Mark Gregory, a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. A pellet gun resembling a full-size rifle was recovered by investigators.

The 20-something man, who has not been identified, was taken to a hospital, authorities said. His wound was considered non-life-threatening, according to early medical reports.

“Additionally, a controlled substance was found on the suspect at the hospital,” Gregory said.

The Spokane police officer, who also was not identified, was not injured and is on administrative leave, which is standard protocol, Gregory said. The officer has not yet been thoroughly interviewed by investigators.

Meanwhile, detectives with the Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol spent most of the morning talking to residents and business owners in the area to learn more about the incident.

The incident started about 4 a.m. in the area of Mission Avenue and Napa Street, about a block from Stevens Elementary School. A police officer responded after receiving reports of a “man shooting a shotgun,” officials said.

When the officer arrived, he located the man in the Hai’s Mini-Mart parking lot, “reportedly pointing the weapon at another person,” in the yard of neighboring home, Gregory said.

The market was not open at the time of the shooting, but surveillance cameras caught some of it, said Whitney Ho, store manager.

Kyle White, who lives nearby, said he arrived home from his job at Jack in the Box about 3:30 a.m. About 4:10 a.m., he heard “a couple pops” and poked his head outside to look.

“When I saw police were there, I figured it was handled,” he said.

White has lived in the area for about 8 months, and said this was the first time there had been any trouble in the neighborhood.

He added, “It’s pretty safe. I haven’t had any problems.”

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