A shootout with police early Friday killed a Spokane man who investigators say threatened family in a dispute over firearms.
Todd E. White, 46, died after Spokane police officers returned gunfire in front of the southeast Spokane home of White’s sister, Heidi Paul, and brother-in-law, Gary Paul.
Police were responding to a report that White was stalking the Pauls at 4127 E. 36th Ave. when White fired shots at an officer who retreated, then returned fire, said Sgt. Dave Reagan of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
No officers were injured.
White had a warrant for his arrest out of Clark County for violating the terms of felony convictions from 2001, 1995 and 1993. Details of those convictions were not available late Friday, but felons are prohibited from possessing firearms.
The sheriff’s office is investigating the shooting with the police department. The names of the officers involved won’t be released for at least three days. All of have been placed on paid leave, which is customary in officer-involved shootings.
Police were first called to the home at 6:01 a.m. by Gary Paul, who said he’d had trouble with White in the past, Reagan said. Police reported gunfire at 6:29 a.m.
A relative recently died, and “there was a dispute over some guns that had been inherited,” Reagan said. A neighbor who knew of the dispute called the Pauls on Friday morning to tell them that White was outside the home with a gun, according to the sheriff’s office. Witnesses reported hearing three or four shots, then a pause, then three or four more shots.
White collapsed in the front yard of the Pauls’ home, where he was treated by paramedics before being taken to a Spokane hospital. He was pronounced dead about 8 a.m.
Meanwhile, law enforcement from across the county had converged in the area of 36th Avenue and Cuba Street.
The call was a code 99 – the highest-level emergency.
“Ninety-nine means ‘I’m in life-threatening danger; I need help,’ and when that happens, everyone goes,” Reagan said.
Streets were blocked until about 4 p.m.
“It was mayhem,” said a man who lives a few houses from the shooting and asked that his name not be used. “This is a quiet neighborhood. At night, you can hear a pin drop.”
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