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

Official: Corrections officer shoots, kills woman in lobby of Spokane County Jail

UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 4, 2020

Police cars wait outside the Spokane County Jail after a shooting reported near there, as shown in this Dec. 4, 2020 picture.   (Maggie Quinlan/The Spokesman-Review)
Police cars wait outside the Spokane County Jail after a shooting reported near there, as shown in this Dec. 4, 2020 picture.  (Maggie Quinlan/The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane County Jail officials on Friday stated a corrections officer shot and killed a woman in the lobby of the facility, the first fatal shooting the jail has recorded.

Around 8 p.m. Friday, a woman came into the foyer of the jail, Spokane County Jail director Mike Sparber said. She pressed a button several times to be buzzed in by the receptionist.

The receptionist was trying to figure out what the woman needed, but she did not respond and continued to “pound on the door,” Sparber said.

Protocol called for a sergeant to respond. When he reached the door, it was open, meaning the receptionist unlocked it. The woman came in and was carrying “an edged weapon,” which Sparber said he believes was a knife. The officer told her to back away and disarm herself, Sparber said.

The officer fired shots and the woman died.

Sparber said he does not know why she was trying to come in, but the foyer is open for people who want to post bail. Her identity has not been released, nor has the identity of the officer.

While some corrections officers do have stun guns or pepper spray, Jared Webley, a spokesperson for the county, said he didn’t know whether the officer had either on him.

Washington State Patrol is the lead agency on the investigation and Spokane Police Department is assisting, Sgt. Terry Preuninger said.

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