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Murder suspect shot by police was armed with a pellet gun

The gun brandished by murder suspect Jeremy Arnold April 29 as he arrived back at the scene of a stabbing death in his home was a pellet gun, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation into Arnold’s fatal encounter with police at 2512 N. Standard St. The confrontation began when Arnold rammed a pickup truck through a police barricade. A KXLY video shows Arnold getting out of his truck only feet away from officers with what appears to be a gun in his hand.

“The way he got out of the vehicle, pointing it at officers, obviously he wanted the officers to have the perception that it was a real gun,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin. “It looked like a legitimate handgun and the guys had about two seconds to make a decision.”

At the time, Arnold was a person of interest in the death of Tracy Fergerstrom, 46. Arnold had a lengthy and violent criminal history and had served two multi-year prison terms. He was most recently released from prison in June 2011.