A motorist described as despondent and possibly suicidal was shot and killed Tuesday night following a police chase that ended near Spokane Valley Mall, authorities said.
The man, whose identity wasn’t disclosed, was first approached by police in Spokane about 7 p.m. but fled east along Interstate 90 to Coeur d’Alene before turning around and heading back toward the state line, said Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Gregory. Deputies picked up the chase when the man crossed back into Washington state, then got the vehicle stopped after it exited at Sullivan Road.
During the confrontation, authorities said officers had reason to believe the man was reaching for a weapon. Witnesses described hearing multiple gunshots.
Spokane police were trying to locate the man after being advised he was possibly armed and suicidal. Initial reports also indicated he might be wearing body armor and have multiple guns.
The intersection of Sullivan Road and Indiana Avenue was shut down most of the night as police investigated. The scene was located just east of Sullivan Road.
Among those who heard the gunfire was Marc Mims, who said he was coming out of the Barnes and Noble bookstore near the mall. Mims said he saw a large number of police cars at the intersection. He was walking away westbound when he heard noise behind him. “It sounded like a barrage of shots fired, like six or eight,” Mims said.