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Monday, August 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Records: Woman says jammed gun prevented estranged husband from shooting her

A Spokane Valley woman allegedly escaped being shot by her estranged husband when the gun he used jammed.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputies on Friday arrested Norman Christianson Jr., 58, on investigation of seven felony domestic violence charges including attempted murder, assault, burglary and harassment.

The problems began after Christianson, his wife, his son and the son’s girlfriend returned from a trip to the Coeur d’Alene Casino on Friday night, court documents say.

Christianson and his wife have been separated since November, court documents say. Although a court order prohibits Christianson from having any contact with his wife or being within two blocks of her, they live in separate apartments in the same complex.

After the group returned from the casino, the wife returned to her apartment. Shortly after, Christianson called her and said he wanted to talk to her and was going to sit outside her apartment until she agreed to talk, court documents say.

She told police she opened the door to tell Christianson to go away, but Christianson grabbed her arm and tried to pull her outside before their son intervened. The son told police his father was able to grab the son’s pistol during the fight and fire one round, which did not hit anybody.

Christianson then said, “Now you’re all going to die,” his wife told police. He ran down the hallway with the gun, broke through his wife’s bedroom door, tackled her onto the bed, pointed the gun at her and pulled the trigger, she told officers. The gun jammed and did not fire, and Christianson ran out of the apartment.

Deputies located Christianson just before midnight after a search using a police dog and an infrared camera on the department’s helicopter. The helicopter captured footage of the arrest.

Christianson appeared in court Monday and remains in jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond. He served two days in jail in January after pleading guilty to misdemeanor harassment, newspaper records show.

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