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Woman accused of shooting at brother-in-law in Spokane Valley while posing as delivery person

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 21, 2020

The Spokane Valley Police Department said 64-year-old Effie M. Douglas was charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder after shooting at two people on Friday while posing as someone delivering this package of balloons and flowers.  (Courtesy Spokane Valley Police Department)
The Spokane Valley Police Department said 64-year-old Effie M. Douglas was charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder after shooting at two people on Friday while posing as someone delivering this package of balloons and flowers. (Courtesy Spokane Valley Police Department)

A woman is facing attempted murder charges after posing as a delivery person and shooting at her brother-in-law and his wife when they answered the door, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

Effie M. Douglas, 64, was charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder.

Police said officers were called around 6:30 p.m. Friday upon reports that a woman fired a handgun at two people, Todd Douglas, 58, and his wife Xuerong Li, 51, at a home on the 11700 block of East 18th Avenue. Deputies arrived to find the couple on top of Douglas on the front porch. She was detained without further incident.

An initial investigation revealed the couple answered the front door where they saw Douglas holding a Christmas-themed bouquet of flowers and balloons, according to the police department. Todd Douglas told police the two were eating dinner when she arrived, according to court records.

Douglas, who was reportedly unrecognizable with her head and face covered, told the couple she needed a signature for a delivery and handed Todd Douglas a clipboard, authorities said. The clipboard, according to court records, had an “invoice” notepad attached to it.

As she handed over the clipboard, Douglas pulled out a Glock pistol from her waistband area and fired one shot, which did not hit anyone, deputies said. According to court records, the bullet traveled through two of the home’s interior walls and a door; Li, meanwhile, told police she found a hole in her shirt, which may have been caused by the bullet.

The couple then fought back and successfully disarmed Douglas, pinning her to the ground before calling 911, according to the police department. During the altercation, Li reportedly bit Douglas’ hand that was holding the gun, according to court records.

Police said Todd Douglas told investigators he and his brother, Nathan H. Douglas, have been in a dispute over money since their mother died earlier this year.

Nathan Douglas confirmed during a telephone call with authorities, according to court records, telling deputies the dispute was over a “hundred and some thousand dollars.” He also told police Douglas had left three hours prior, telling him she was going shopping with a friend.

While deputies were interviewing Todd Douglas and Li, Douglas was overheard by a deputy saying, “Todd, you’ve been a dirty dog and stolen money from my husband for years!”

Todd Douglas and Li told authorities they had not communicated with Douglas for many months, according to court records.

The investigation is ongoing.

Deputies said Douglas declined to answer questions after she was transported to the Spokane Public Safety Building.

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