A shooting near Orchard Prairie that left one man dead and another in critical condition was an attempted murder-suicide, deputies said Friday.
Cpl. Mark Gregory, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, said the suspect in Thursday evening’s fatal shooting pulled a gun on his neighbor, identified by property records and Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center as 29-year-old Benjamin Grosser, after the two were involved in verbal altercation at his residence at 7611 E. Bigelow Gulch Road.
The suspect, who has not been identified, then fired at Grosser multiple times about 6 p.m. as the two stood near his back porch, before walking to his home in the 7500 block of East Bigelow Gulch Road. There he turned the gun on himself. He was declared dead at the scene.
Grosser was transported by ambulance to Sacred Heart, where he was listed in critical condition Friday afternoon.
Gregory said the two neighbors had been in the midst of an ongoing feud. Earlier that day, at around 4:15 p.m., deputies were called to the area after a reported road rage incident involving the suspect and employees of Grosser’s landscaping company, Jammin Enterprises LLC.
The employees told deputies they were on the outside lane of Bigelow Gulch Road west of Argonne Road when the suspect cut one of them off, according to a sheriff’s office news release. The suspect then followed the employee to Grosser’s residence, where the two got into a verbal argument.
Gregory said the suspect displayed a handgun, which is when an employee called 911. The deputy reported talking to the caller, who told him the driver took the weapon from his vehicle’s center console and placed it on a seat, but did not point it at anyone.
The suspect, according to Gregory, referred to Grosser’s employees as “Mexicans” and told the deputy they were “likely illegals.”
The man was cited with unlawful display of a firearm, a gross misdemeanor.
After shots rang out at about 6 p.m., Gregory said arriving deputies began blocking traffic on Bigelow Gulch Road, which is when they saw a man, later identified as the suspect, walking form Grosser’s driveway west toward his residence.
The man ignored commands to stop, said Gregory, and quickened his pace, walking past his driveway. As the deputy gave further commands to stop, the man reportedly stopped, turned around, and walked toward the deputy. As the deputy took cover behind his vehicle, Gregory said the man walked back toward his residence and disappeared.
After more deputies arrived, Gregory said they began to move toward the home, which is when they heard a single gunshot ring out from his back porch.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.