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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Man accused of randomly stabbing 8-year-old boy in Spokane Valley says he “felt possessed”

Nov. 19, 2018 Updated Mon., Nov. 19, 2018 at 7:50 p.m.

Bruce Landahl, 30, is accused of randomly stabbing an 8-year-old boy inside a Spokane Valley gas station Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. A judge set bond Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 at $5 million. (Jonathan Glover / The Spokesman-Review)
Bruce Landahl, 30, is accused of randomly stabbing an 8-year-old boy inside a Spokane Valley gas station Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. A judge set bond Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 at $5 million. (Jonathan Glover / The Spokesman-Review)

A 30-year-old man accused of stabbing a boy several times inside a Spokane Valley gas station reportedly told detectives he took 16 cough-medicine pills and then “felt possessed.”

The details of the seemingly random attack, which has gripped the Spokane community and inspired several to lead a campaign to help the family of the victim, were included in court records accompanying Bruce Landahl’s first appearance in court Monday.

Superior Court Judge Michael Price elected to keep bond at $5 million.

Dressed in a lime green jumpsuit, Landahl sat quietly in a jail conference room staring forward at a video feed of Price. Landahl, with no felony criminal history in Spokane County, has a third-degree theft charge out of Kentucky from 2009. He is charged with first-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault.

According to court documents filed by Sheriff’s Detective Michael McNees, witnesses said Landahl walked up to 8-year-old Jack Bush at about 4:30 p.m. as he looked at his iPad and stood next to a booth with his father, Jacob Bush, at HiCo Village gas station at 9219 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley.

Landahl bear-hugged the boy with one hand and told the father “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” according to witnesses. Landahl then stabbed the boy with a black knife that had a silver-colored handle. Jacob Bush, according to witnesses, punched Landahl in the face and along with other witnesses, kept him in place until deputies arrived.

The boy reportedly suffered a puncture wound to his neck, the upper part of his back, his shoulder and right hand and middle finger. He was treated and released from a local hospital.

Interviewed after the attack, Landahl reportedly told McNees that before the attack he took the over-the-counter pills because he “has an addiction.” He said as he stood outside the gas station he “made the decision to stab the boy.”

When asked what he was thinking at the time, Landahl said he “just wanted to bring good back.” McNees wrote that Landahl admittedly knew he was trying to kill the boy as he “felt possessed.”

“I stabbed him, the little boy,” he told detectives, according to court records.

A Facebook page for the family intended to raise money for therapy and toys for Jack Bush has been created.

Rayel Von Quade, who helped set up the social media account, said Monday the boy’s mother, Candace Bush, recently lost her car to a fire. She said the family recently moved from Utah after the death of another one of their children. “All things considered, they’re doing fairly well,” she said. “They’re so grateful for all of the people who’ve stepped forward to help.”

While she didn’t know how much money they had raised so far, since the funds went directly to a PayPal account set up for the family, she said she had received hundreds of messages from people looking to help, including several hoping to make cash donations – one from a woman who offered to pay for a new iPad for Jack Bush, since his is currently in evidence.

Valley Auto Liquidators in Spokane Valley even agreed to supply a new vehicle. Brian Williams, the lot’s sales manager, said the dealer will regularly donate one car a year to someone in need – something that’s left up to the staff to vote on. But when the owners heard of this incident, he said there was no contest.

“It’s obviously a freak, devastating thing that took place,” he said.

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