March 26, 2014 in City

Police shoot and kill robbery suspect

Fatal shooting in North Spokane tied to Baskin Robbins stickup
Staff reports
 
Map of this story's location

Police officers shot and killed a robbery suspect Wednesday night outside a home in North Spokane.

Police had been watching the man in a home at the corner of Maple Street and Grace Avenue. He was suspected in the Tuesday armed robbery of the Baskin Robbins ice cream store along North Monroe, according to police.

At about 7 p.m. police used a PA system in an effort to negotiate the man’s surrender. Instead, the man came outside and refused to comply with police orders, according to spokeswoman Monique Cotton.

Witness John Svavarsson said he was driving by the home when he saw about 10 officers converge on the home. He stopped and stood on the sidewalk across the street, watching the scene. One of the officers tried to talk the man out of the house, telling him to come out, Svavarsson said.

The man walked outside with an expressionless stare as officers yelled “Drop it! Drop it!” Svavarsson said. “He was blank.”

Police officers then fired multiple shots and hit the suspect.

“At some point the officers believed their safety and the safety of the community was at risk,” said Police Chief Frank Straub.

Police are not identifying the man.

Several medics and officers applied First Aid, Cotton said in a news release. A handgun was found nearby.

Straub said officers had been watching the man for hours and were in the process of obtaining a search warrant for the home. The SWAT team was on the way because the suspect was known to be armed, he said.

At some point the man spotted officers and began talking to them through his screen door, Straub said. The man came outside but was refusing to follow commands, Straub said.

There have been 11 armed robberies in the past month in Spokane.

The Washington State Patrol will lead an investigation into the shooting as part of the Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team.

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