The Spokane County Prosecutors Office announced late Friday that two Spokane Police Department shootings in 2013 were justified.
Murder suspect Justin Cairns, 21, was shot in Nine Mile Falls on May 16, 2103 by Officers Jake Jensen, Danny Lesser and Adam Valdez. Hit and run suspect Danny C. Jones, 40, was shot in his truck in the Salvation Army parking lot in North Spokane on Aug. 22, 2103. Lt. Kevin King and officers Robert Collins, Corey Lyons and Scott Lesser were involved in that shooting.
Police said Jones hit another vehicle twice with his truck and then rammed police vehicles in the parking lot before he was shot.
Deputy Prosecutor Jack Driscoll wrote in his decision that Jones “posed a threat of serious physical harm to officers or others. A motor vehicle can be used as a deadly weapon.” Officers ordered Jones out of the truck several times and he refused to comply, Driscoll wrote. Two of the three cars Jones rammed were occupied, he wrote.
Police believe Cairns shot and killed Cyrus C. Jones, 33, in the 1400 block of West Grace. Police quickly tracked him to a home in Nine Mile Falls and there was a confrontation outside the home. Driscoll wrote in his decision that Cairns was apparently listening to a scanner and confronted police in his yard. He reportedly told police to shoot him and reached for something in his waistband. The item was a cell phone, but officers believed Cairns was armed and fired, Driscoll wrote.
“They were facing a resistive suspect, who disregarded multiple commands to give up, whom they suspected of recently using deadly force during a homicide, constituting a ‘threat of serious physical harm,’ ” Driscoll wrote. “The suspect’s actions immediately prior to being shot could be reasonably construed as intending to make the officers believe he was armed.”