Kim Blackmore stood shivering in the cold Thursday, describing how her estranged boyfriend – the father of her unborn child – had forced his way through a dog door into her home Wednesday night armed with a knife, only to be stopped by a man who ended the threat with a gunshot.
The shot killed 28-year-old Marshall Balduff, who had been quarreling with Blackmore – his girlfriend of four years – since his birthday on Tuesday.
It was fired by George Wallace, who owned the home at 6017 N. Wall St. that he and his girlfriend shared with Blackmore and, until earlier this week, with Balduff, who was kicked out after making death threats.
Blackmore said she was standing just a few feet away, listening, when Wallace fired the shot. Only then did Blackmore see Balduff had what she described as a mini-machete with a curved blade.
“I went straight to Marshall. Regardless of the threats he made, I still love him,” Blackmore said as she cried. “He told me he was going to die. He said, ‘George killed me.’ ”
Spokane police responded to the 7 p.m. shooting and briefly detained the 44-year-old Wallace, Blackmore and four other people who were at the house at the time.
Department spokeswoman Monique Cotton said major crimes detectives did not find any evidence that Wallace had committed a crime.
Once the investigation is complete, detectives will turn it over to prosecutors to make the final charging decision, she said.
“There were some threats involved earlier in the day,” Cotton said. “That’s what led the homeowner to believe the individual was armed. A large knife was recovered from the scene that is believed to belong to the deceased.”
According to court records, Balduff has previous convictions for domestic violence assault, assault, theft and malicious mischief.
Blackmore said she’d had an argument with Balduff Tuesday night and had several conversations with him on Wednesday. He was still agitated, Blackmore said, and accused Wallace of lying to help protect her whereabouts.
“I kept telling him, I don’t want anything to do with you right now,” she said, relaying several telephone conversations. “He just wasn’t getting it.”
Then, shortly before 7 p.m., Wallace’s live-in girlfriend, Sharon Brown, said she put her hand through the dog door built into the home’s rear entrance when she heard a voice say: “Sharon will you … .” Brown said she screamed before Balduff could finish.
Blackmore said Balduff first started knocking normally, then pounded on the door. “Then he started kicking the door,” she said.
About that time, Wallace grabbed his semi-automatic pistol.
“George told me, ‘Tell him that he needs to go.’ George wasn’t trying to get in the middle of it,” Blackmore said. Her boyfriend, she said, “was not the Marshall any of us knew.”
Blackmore said she tried to reason with Balduff as Wallace pointed his pistol at the door.
“I stood next to the door and I said, ‘Marshall, you need to go.’ He said, ‘I want you to come out and talk to me.’ He said, ‘We can do this the easy way or the hard way.’ One way or the other he was coming in to get me,” Blackmore said.
Blackmore stepped away as Balduff crawled through the dog door and stood up, facing Wallace, who was aiming his gun at the man.
Brown said she was watching the exchange from a few feet away.
“I heard George say, ‘You need to leave,’ ” Brown said. “(Balduff) said, ‘No. I’m coming in to get her.’ ”
Wallace repeated to Balduff that he needed to leave. “George said, ‘Do you want to die?’ Marshall walked toward him and said, ‘Yes’ and then boom,” Brown said.
Wallace immediately put the gun on a counter and Blackmore called 911, then rushed to Balduff’s side. He was shot in the chest near his heart.
“He told me he was dying. He knew,” she said.
Balduff told Wallace that he had killed him. Blackmore said she heard Wallace reply that he was sorry but that he couldn’t allow Balduff to threaten them and come into the house.
Balduff “was trying to sit up and he asked for a drink. I lifted his head up and tried to give him a drink, but he said, ‘Ow, ow, ow’ and I set him down,” Blackmore said. “He just grabbed ahold of my leg and would not let me go.”
An ambulance apparently responded to the wrong address, Blackmore said. Spokane police officers arrived and ordered everyone out of the house before the medics would come inside, she said.
“His eyes started to roll back into his head,” Blackmore said, crying. “I said, ‘Baby, stay with me.’ They told me I had to get out. I didn’t want to leave him.”
Police officers told Blackmore that medics had started CPR.
“At the police station,” she said, “they told me he was deceased.”