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In brief: Police chase, shots end with man dead

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, Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Gregory said. Deputies picked up the chase when the man crossed back into Washington, then stopped the vehicle 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.

Staff reports

Civic Theatre hires new artistic director

Keith Dixon, currently the managing artistic director at Theatre Baton Rouge, has been hired as the new artistic director for the Spokane Civic Theatre.

Dixon, 40, will take over the role full-time in June after a few months of transition. He will visit Spokane to get to know people before then, Dixon said.

Theatre Baton Rouge is a community theater group with a main stage and a studio, much like the Civic. Dixon said he enjoyed his 10 years in Baton Rouge but is excited to live in the Inland Northwest. “I was not looking for the next job,” he said. “I was looking for the right one.”

Dixon said he likes to present compelling, entertaining stories on stage. “I love telling a good story on stage, whether that’s a musical or a play or a drama or a comedy.”

Dixon replaces Yvonne A.K. Johnson, who was fired from her job as Civic’s artistic director in July only a month after she received high praise in an employee evaluation and a $7,000 bonus.

Dixon said he is aware of what happened to Johnson but had good experiences during a trip to Spokane.

Nina Culver