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Police shoot and kill man in Spokane Valley

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 5, 2012, 3:01 p.m.

Shooting was triggered by domestic violence incident

A domestic violence suspect was shot and killed today by Spokane Valley police.

The dead man, whose identity was immediately unavailable but was described by investigators as “homicidal/suicidal,” was shot in the backyard of his girlfriend’s home on North Skipworth Court after a brief chase, authorities said.

Although police scanner transmissions during the chase indicate deputies believed the man to be armed, officials would not say whether any weapons were recovered with the body.

The run-up to the shooting began on Tuesday night when a woman at a home at 1309 N. Skipworth Court was stabbed. She called deputies to report the stabbing this morning.

Two deputies arrived around 10:20 a.m. to take her report. The suspect had left in the woman’s black Mercedes convertible. As the deputies were outside the house talking, they determined from interviews that the suspect was “homicidal/suicidal,” according to Deputy Craig Chamberlin, a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

While they were talking, the suspect drove the Mercedes between the two police cruisers toward the house on the cul-de-sac, and a chase ensued.

The car chase ended within a block and a half. After the suspect abandoned the car, deputies chased him on foot into the backyard of his girlfriend’s house at 1309 N. Skipworth.

“He was confronted in the backyard of his girlfriend’s house … and he was shot,” Spokane Police spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe said, declining to say whether he was armed.

She was unsure about how many deputies were involved in the chase and shooting. Deputies performed CPR on the suspect and he was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center where he later died.

The man’s identity has not been released.

A witness said she was in her yard nearby and heard what she thought were 10 to 12 gunshots.

The witness, Laurie Sheffler, said she saw a glimpse of someone running through her backyard and then saw police officers following on foot with their guns drawn.

“I saw these guys chasing somebody with their guns drawn saying ‘Stop,’” Sheffler said. “I ran inside the house. I was scared to death. I didn’t know who they were chasing, I just knew something bad was going on.”

Sheffler, a neighbor, lives just west of the Skipworth Court home.

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