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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane police say man shot sergeant in face with paintball and was armed with actual pistol

UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 3, 2020

Police believe a man shot a detective in the face with a paintball gun and dropped a pistol as he fled.

In the early hours Thursday, plain clothes detectives from the Spokane Police Department were finishing work near the Nevada Avenue corridor north of North Foothills Drive.

As one of the detective sergeants was getting ready to leave, something started striking his car, according to a news release. Believing he was under gunfire, the detective left his car and took cover. Almost immediately, he felt something strike his face and a “sharp pain.” He thought he had been shot, according to the release.

Then he noticed yellow paint on the side of his car and realized his assailant was shooting paintballs. He called for assistance and began pursuing his assailant, who was fleeing in a car, the release said.

The car stopped in an alley near Bridgeport Road and Nevada Street, and the passenger, later identified as Dezmyn Simpson, 25, fled. The detective took driver David Medina, 24, into custody, the release said. Police found a large paintball gun lying on the ground on the passenger side of the car, the release said.

Another detective arrived just in time to see Simpson coming from the area of the stopped car. Simpson ran.

As he was fleeing, police saw him “repeatedly reaching for his waist band,” according to the news release. After a short chase, police caught him and took him into custody. Officers searched over the path Simpson had taken and found a bullet, a loaded large-capacity pistol magazine and an unloaded firearm, later determined to be stolen, according to the release.

Police don’t know if he intentionally unloaded the weapon while running or inadvertently ejected the magazine and a bullet while trying to load the gun to use it, the release said.

As he was being taken into custody, Simpson said he had “nine points on his felony record,” the release said. In searching him, police found heroin, the release said.

Police suspect Simpson of third-degree assault, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm and felony possession of a controlled substance, the release said.

His local arrest record includes possession of a controlled substance, assaults of different degrees, possession of stolen property and burglary, the release said.

Washington State Patrol cited Medina on suspicion of driving under the influence. Police suspect him of third-degree assault, the release said.

Two women were also contacted in the area, and while police believe they initially lied to police about knowing the suspects, they have not been arrested, the release said.

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