Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

No murders, just robberies

Get Adobe Flash player

Spokane Police Department

The city of Spokane has had a nice distinction since March - no homicides.

Besides the shooting death of Johnnie Longest by Spokane police officer Dan Lesser, the last police-investigated killing was a stabbing death March 3.

Spokane averages about 12 to 14 homicides a year, said Lt. Dave McGovern.

The March 3 killing is the third murder case in Spokane in 2009.

"It's a little bit unusual but not unheard of," McGovern said. "We're more than happy to not have to respond to murders."

The Major Crimes Unit is busy with robberies, McGovern said.

A gunman stole money from a Cricket phone store at 4009 N. Market Street last night, and detectives have leads on a suspect.

The robber is described as a black man about 30 years old, 5-foot-9 and 150 to 160 pounds. He wore blue jeans, white sneakers with black stripes on the sides a blue bandanna under a dark baseball cap with a white logo or letter on the front.

Detectives are also close to solving an armed robbery at the Zip Trip, 3030 E. Euclid Ave., May 20, McGovern said.

In that case, two men wearing camouflage and masks stole money from the store clerk's till about 3:43 a.m. One had a gun.

"We'll see what the summer holds for us. Hopefully it will stay quiet," McGovern said.

Read a story about the last murder in Spokane here.

In that case, Robert T. Waters, 27, and brothers Joseph T. and Christopher R. Harper, 24 and 27, are charged with second-degree murder for the death of Michael "Mickey" Lyng, 19.

Chris Harper's girlfriend, Amie C. Schott, 20, was charged April 22 with rendering criminal assistance. Court papers say she was with the Harpers and Waters in her car when the knife used to kill Lying was tossed out the window.

Police found the knife in a grassy knoll beneath the Maple Street Bridge, documents show.

Read probable cause affidavits on the case here and here.

The Harpers and Waters have trials set for August. The three remain in jail.

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.