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

Suspect in custody after Spokane police shooting

Spokane police investigate the scene in an alley near Division Street and Rockwell Avenue where an officer fired on and later subdued a man who brandished a realistic-looking gun. The man was allegedly trying to rob a restaurant on Division. (Dan Pelle)

A Spokane police officer fired several shots at a Chinese restaurant burglar wielding a fake gun and missed Monday morning, leading to an alley fight off North Division Street where the officer was injured yet arrested the suspect.

Cephas W. Parham, 39, is suspected of triggering a commercial burglary alarm at Peking North, 4120 N. Division. The officer, who has not been identified, arrived within four minutes and heard noise inside the building. He ushered out the owners, who had been preparing to open the restaurant, Spokane police Chief Frank Straub said during a news conference.

Parham then ran from the restaurant and into the alley as the officer gave chase, Straub said. When Parham pulled out a realistic-looking airsoft gun the officer demanded he drop it, Straub said. Parham refused and the officer fired several times.

“We don’t shoot to miss,” Straub said.

Parham – who has two dozen felony convictions spanning three decades – fled until the officer caught up with him. The two engaged in what Straub described as an aggressive fight. The officer’s glasses were knocked off and his watch was broken. He used a Taser to try to subdue Parham.

Both the officer and Parham were treated for injuries. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is leading the criminal investigation.

Parham’s convictions include multiple car thefts and a vehicular homicide. He had been sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison for a 2010 crime spree that ended as he choked a police dog near Shadle Park. He was released last year.

In December 2009, he was arrested for smashing a pickup into a North Division Street cellphone store and trying to steal the ATM.