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Homicide victim identified in early-morning shootings

Spokane police investigate the scene of a shooting at Grace Avenue and Maple Street early Thursday morning, May 16, 2013. (Dan Pelle)
Spokane police investigate the scene of a shooting at Grace Avenue and Maple Street early Thursday morning, May 16, 2013. (Dan Pelle)

Officers shoot suspect from earlier shooting

Spokane Police, tracking a “dangerous individual” who they believed had killed a person in the city of Spokane less than an hour earlier, shot and killed the man in Spokane County early Thursday morning.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner identified the first man killed as Cyrus Jones, 33. Police said that shooting occurred at about 1:30 a.m. at 1428 W. Grace Ave.

Police responded to what had been reported as a pedestrian hit by a car. “Upon arrival, witnesses said they heard a shooting,” Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub said in a press conference.

Jones was taken to a local hospital where he died.

Based on witness descriptions of a car that left the scene of the shooting, police tracked the suspect to the 22000 block of W. Charles Road in Nine Mile Falls.

Straub said the suspect turned off the lights in the house and officers saw movement in and around the house. Officers confronted him and he ignored their unspecified commands, the police chief said. “He was shot by officers,” Straub said.

Police did not identify either the victims or the police officers. Straub said early in the day that it appeared the two men involved in the shootings knew each other, however.

In a late-afternoon press conference, Straub said police found two weapons at the Nine Mile Falls scene, a .380-caliber handgun and a pellet gun that resembled an actual firearm. Two .380 bullet casings were found at the homicide scene on West Grace Avenue.

Straub initiated the department’s critical incident protocol, which calls for another agency to investigate the officer-involved shooting in Nine Mile Falls.

The homicide on West Grace, however, will be investigated by major crimes detectives from the city.

“I compliment the bravery of our officers for their quick response” in tracking the suspect in the homicide on West Grace.

The involved officers have been placed on leave and the department is making a psychologist available to them, Straub said.

The incident is the second officer-involved shooting since Straub became police chief in October.

On Feb. 5, police shot and killed Jacob I. Dorfman, 52, after he led officers on a chaotic race through a South Hill neighborhood. Dorfman had previous arrests for assaulting and eluding law enforcement officers. Police have not released a full report on the incident.

On West Grace Avenue, officers worked to clean up the street Thursday morning before neighborhood kids began walking to Audubon Elementary School.

A child’s swing hangs from a tree in the yard of the house at 1428 W. Grace. A sign on the door demands anyone knock and ring the doorbell before entering — even people who live there.

Katie Wardall, a neighor, said the house has been a nuisance but never for anything like gunfire.

“There’s definitely commotion that comes from that house at least once a week,” Wardall said.

There are usually at least 10 cars at the house, she said — “there’s kids there all the time.”

Another neighbor in the area, who wished to only be identified as David, said several people live at the house and it gets lots of foot traffic.

“You know there’s something going on,” he said.

Both neighbors reported similar stories of seeing a body lying in the street. David said he saw a woman performing CPR on the body and Wardall said she saw two women standing nearby, crying “hysterically.”

David said he didn’t see the man move or speak.



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