Robbery suspect Stephen C. Corkery wrote a confession and an apology to his family and told friends he wouldn’t go back to prison in the days leading up to his fatal encounter with Spokane police Wednesday.
Officers shot Corkery multiple times after he walked out the front door of a home at 1527 W. Grace Ave. Police say he had a gun in his hand and officers feared for their safety. Witness video shows police firing at Corkery right after he stepped outside.
Police have connected Corkery to the Tuesday armed robberies of a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop on North Monroe Street and the Sunny Buns Tanning Salon along East 27th Avenue. Investigators also suspect Corkery in several robberies of Jitterz Java, Subway sandwich shops and Deb’s Espresso. The robberies prompted the owner of Jitterz to encourage her barristas to wear a holstered handgun as a deterrent.
“We do believe he’s responsible for the majority of them,” said police spokeswoman Monique Cotton.
According to court documents, Corkery frequently borrowed a white Chevrolet Tahoe belonging to a woman who also lived in the home on Grace. The SUV was reportedly seen at several of the robberies.
Police pulled the white Tahoe over on Wednesday and spoke to the woman. She told police that Corkery would give her heroin, cigarettes and gas money in exchange for using her car. The woman had confronted Corkery about whether he was involved in the robberies on Tuesday. She said he admitted his role and wrote two notes that he told her to give to police “when it all goes down,” documents say.
One of the notes indicated Corkery’s role in the robberies and that he had acted alone. The other was an apology letter to his friends and family, documents say. The woman gave police both notes, which she was carrying in her purse, documents say.
Police spoke to another resident of the home Wednesday before the fatal confrontation who confirmed that Corkery had displayed a black handgun and indicated he was not going back to prison. The resident also told police that Corkery recently had money, even though he didn’t have a job.
Court documents state that police recovered several items of clothing from the house and car that appear to be connected to the robberies, including a gray beanie and a red bandanna.
The names of the officers involved in the shooting are expected to be released next week, Cotton said.