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

Report: Homeowner who shot teen suspect had pot stolen earlier

A teenager who was with the 13-year-old boy shot during a Monday burglary had stolen marijuana from the same home less than a week before. The boy who was shot remains in satisfactory condition at a local hospital after undergoing surgery following the shooting in Medical Lake. His 14-year-old accomplice has not been arrested, but he told detectives that he and another teenager, Mitchell A. Swift, were involved in a Dec. 15 burglary at the 614 N. Grant Ave. home. Swift was later arrested and appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Tuesday. According to court documents, the 14-year-old boy arrived home after the shooting, threw up and told his mother that his friend had been shot when they were trying to break into a home. She called police, and detectives spoke with the boy at the Medical Lake police station. The boy has not been arrested but faces a residential burglary charge in juvenile court. The Spokesman-Review does not name juvenile criminal suspects unless they are charged as adults with serious felonies. Swift, 18, remains in Spokane County Jail on $17,500 bond after appearing before Superior Court Judge Michael Price on a residential burglary charge. Swift fled when investigators arrived at his home on the 400 block of North Silver Lake Road, but Detective Bob Sola caught him behind a storage facility near Stanley Road and Highway 902 after a blocks-long foot chase. Swift had a misdemeanor warrant in Spokane County for theft and was wanted in Oregon for violating his probation on a burglary conviction, police say. The homeowner who shot the boy, Justin J. Brown, has not been arrested. The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office will decide whether to file charges, said Sgt. Dave Reagan, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Brown’s wife, Melissa Brown, called 911 about 4:50 a.m. Monday and said her husband was holding a burglary suspect in the backyard. She reported minutes later that the suspect had been shot. Justin Brown told detectives he did not report the Dec. 15 burglary because he didn’t believe anything had been stolen. But when detectives talked to the 14-year-old suspect, he told them he and Swift targeted the home because they’d heard there were marijuana plants there. They climbed a fence and unscrewed a padlock latch to access a storage area, where they stole two large marijuana plants and harvested marijuana buds, as well as smoking pipes and bongs. Detectives seized the stolen items.Reagan would not comment on any additional information pertaining to the investigation, which he said is ongoing.