Multiple people, including a 4-year-old-child, were stabbed by a house guest Sunday morning. The suspect then led police on a car chase before eventually being arrested.
Just after 10 a.m. Sunday, Spokane Valley police and Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 3500 block of North Velox Road after 911 callers reported a man armed with a large knife was stabbing people.
James D. Neill, 43, had been staying at a mobile home on and off, according to a news release by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Victims on the scene told police Neill had been using methamphetamine and hadn’t been sleeping. He had been sitting at the table reading a Bible before suddenly getting up and grabbing a “butcher” knife, according to the sheriff’s office.
He then walked up behind the first victim, a man in his 60s, and ran the blade of the knife across his neck but the knife was turned the wrong way only leaving a small nick on the victim’s throat, according to the sheriff’s office.
The victim told police he believed Neill was trying to kill him. He ran out the back door and yelled for help to warn the other people inside the home.
That’s when the second victim, a man in his 40s, came to see what the commotion was about, the sheriff’s office said. The victim said Neill was swinging the knife around and making stabbing motions.
The victim said he tried to disarm Neill, leading to a cut on the victim’s arm. The victim ran out of the house, got a crowbar, and went to the bedroom window where a woman in her 50s and a 4-year-old child were located, according to the sheriff’s office.
The victim said he tried to get the bedroom window open to allow them to escape but Neill was already trying to break down the bedroom door. The victim then went back inside the house to find Neill in the bedroom stabbing the 4-year-old in the upper torso, according to the sheriff’s office.
The victim hit Neill with the crowbar several times before Neill took the crowbar and left , according to the sheriff’s office.
At some point during the attack, Neill slashed the back of a small dog, who was treated and is expected to recover.
All four victims including the child are expected to recover as well, according to the sheriff’s office.
When deputies arrived on scene, Neill had already left in one of the victim’s cars, a white 2001 Ford Taurus. A description of Neill and the stolen car’s license plate were broadcast to area law enforcement.
About 20 minutes later a woman on the 5500 block of North Best Road called 911 to report a man had just attempted to steal her Honda CRV. She had used a remote start device to start the locked car. The man matched Neill’s description as did the vehicle he was driving, according to the sheriff’s office.
At 10:35, a sheriff’s deputy saw Neill’s stolen car traveling north on Bruce Road. He turned on his lights and sirens but Neill did not stop, according to the sheriff’s office.
A fellow deputy conducted a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) to stop the chase. The maneuver worked and Neill’s car stopped at Bruce Road and Day-Mount Spokane Road.
The deputies moved their patrol vehicles to block escape routes but Neill refused to follow commands. The deputies felt Neill might flee again, so Deputy Samuel Turner shot a beanbag round to break the side windows. The rounds had little to no effect and Neill drove away, according to the sheriff’s office.
Additional patrol units arrived in the area and deployed skip strips near Howe Road; however, Neill continued to escape, the sheriff’s office said.
A second PIT maneuver was conducted as the car chase approached Highway 2. Neill’s car went into the ditch and rolled upside down, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies immediately began giving Neill commands, which he ignored, before breaking out the car window and running away, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies chased Neill firing beanbag rounds, hitting him twice, according to the news release.
Neill eventually went to the ground and surrendered, according to the sheriff’s office.
Medical attention was given to Neill before he was jailed.
Deputies are investigating.
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