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

Man shot, killed by police following Spokane Valley confrontation

A Spokane Sheriff’s Office cruiser is parked in Spokane Valley, where law enforcement responded to reports of an armed individual Sunday. (Will Campbell / The Spokesman-Review)

A man was shot and killed by law enforcement Sunday after officials say he pointed a handgun at deputies.

The man was parked in his vehicle, a red pickup truck, at a Mobil gas station around 8:40 a.m. at the intersection of Trent Avenue and Evergreen Road when he was approached by law enforcement.

A news release stated that deputies responded to reports of an erratic driver who had parked at the gas station and broken out the windows of his truck. When deputies arrived, the man held a gun to his head and would not comply with their requests, according to the release.

Deputies “reported hearing a shot fired from inside the male’s vehicle but they could not ascertain the direction it was fired and they did not return fire,” the release stated.

At some point later in the confrontation, SWAT members on the scene “perceived an imminent threat and fired their weapons toward the suspect,” according to the news release. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said in a news conference that the man had “pointed a weapon at deputies.”

Knezovich confirmed that the man had been killed; no deputies or other people present were reported injured.

A section of Trent Avenue between North Best and North McDonald roads was shut down for over four hours following the incident.

A witness, who identified himself as Harold Johnson, said the man had been parked near the station’s pumps.

Johnson said he retreated into the station after an employee motioned him in, saying that a man in the truck had broken out its windows and was possibly armed. More law enforcement vehicles, including a SWAT van, arrived on scene as they sheltered.

Johnson said he heard multiple shots fired.

Responding agencies included the Spokane Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and the Spokane Valley Police Department. A SWAT Team, Hostage/Crisis Negotiators, Spokane Valley Fire Rescue Task Force and Air 1 were requested to respond. The gas station’s emergency fuel shutoff was activated and BNSF Railroad was asked to hold train traffic, according to the news release.