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Sunday, October 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Officers with U.S. Marshals Service task force shoot wanted man in Hillyard

UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 29, 2020

By Chad Sokol and Emma Epperly The Spokesman-Review

Law enforcement officers shot and wounded a man in Spokane’s Hillyard Neighborhood on Monday after he was allegedly involved in a shooting late Sunday.

Kevin J. Gellnes, 42, was hospitalized after the encounter with officers belonging to the U.S. Marshals Services’ local fugitive task force. The shooting occurred at about noon near North Regal Street and East Everett Avenue. Authorities did not disclose Gellnes’ medical condition in a news release Monday evening.

Gavin Duffy, the chief deputy U.S. marshal for Eastern Washington, said the task force was attempting to arrest Gellnes when he “produced a weapon which actually appears to be a handgun.”

“The officers responded to protect their lives and the lives of those around in the area,” Duffy said.

Duffy would not say how many officers fired at Gellnes.

“The arresting team did provide first aid and as much trauma care as they could,” Duffy said.

An ambulance took Gellnes to a local hospital.

Hillyard resident Nick Bailey said he was near the shooting and heard five or six popping sounds.

“It was like quick, quick, quick – it’s over,” Bailey said.

Dozens of emergency vehicles crowded the area about five to 10 minutes after the shooting, he said. The scene remained cordoned off for several hours.

In a news release, the Spokane Police Department said Gellnes is suspected of shooting a person in the Chief Garry Park Neighborhood on Sunday night.

Officers responded to a report of that shooting in the 1900 block of East Desmet Avenue at about 11:45 p.m. and found evidence to charge Gellnes with first-degree assault. The victim, whose name was not released, suffered “a serious injury” and was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle before officers arrived, the department said.

Duffy and Officer John O’Brien, a spokesman for the police department, said Monday evening they didn’t know the medical conditions of Gellnes or the other shooting victim.

Gellnes also had been wanted on a warrant for “dangerous drugs,” the police department said. The warrant originated from the state Department of Corrections, meaning it likely was issued for a probation or parole violation.

Gellnes was most recently convicted of drug possession and possession of a stolen vehicle – felonies that prohibit him from having guns, police said.

The Spokane Police Department is managing an investigation into the shooting.

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