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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Woman with knife brought to hospital

Details emerge in Sandpoint police shooting

A woman shot and killed by Sandpoint police July 8 outside Bonner General Hospital had been brought to the hospital by her husband, who told the emergency staff she was exhibiting erratic, aggressive behavior and was armed with a knife.

Additional details were released Thursday about the shooting of 35-year-old Jeanette Riley. The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

Two city police officers fired a total of five times in close proximity to Riley after she refused to stop approaching them with a knife, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Riley was rushed into the hospital’s emergency room and died there, investigators said.

The hospital’s emergency department called 911 at 9:12 p.m. about a man who had come into the lobby saying his wife was outside in their van threatening to attack anyone who approached her, investigators said.

“The man said he did not know what to do or where he could take his wife to get help,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

The hospital initiated a lockdown and the county dispatch center sent three officers – Skylar Ziegler, Mike Valenzuela and Garrett Johnson – to the scene in marked patrol cars. Police arrived at 9:15 p.m. and located the white Chevy Astro van parked on Third Street in front of the emergency entrance.

“Jeannette Riley immediately exited the van,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “She was armed with a knife and engaged the officers. Riley was non-compliant; refused to stop her approach; and refused to drop the knife.”

Two officers fired at her a minute later, according to the investigator’s time line. The identities of the two who fired haven’t been released.

“Officers secured the knife and immediately began life-saving measures,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “Nearby EMS and medical staff were summoned. Riley was rushed into the (emergency department) where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead.”

Investigators have not yet said how close Riley was to the officers when they fired.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Bonner County Detective Sgt. Gary Johnston at (208) 263-8417, ext. 3058.

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