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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Police: Officer fired at armed man suspected of vehicle prowling who died at scene

UPDATED: Wed., April 21, 2021

Yellow lines of tape blocked off the periphery of the scene where a Spokane police officer shot a man early Saturday morning. The man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the medical examiner ruled.   (Maggie Quinlan)
Yellow lines of tape blocked off the periphery of the scene where a Spokane police officer shot a man early Saturday morning. The man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the medical examiner ruled.  (Maggie Quinlan)

A Spokane Police Officer shot a suspected vehicle prowler who died at the scene around 3:30 a.m. Saturday, according to a Spokane Police Department news release.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner found the suspect died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

A 911 caller told dispatch a person was in their car on the 500 block of South Cannon Street. The 911 caller said they confronted the prowler and the man aimed a gun at them, according to the release.

When police arrived minutes later, the man was still in the 911 caller’s car armed with a firearm, the release said.

“There was an exchange of gunfire,” the release said. It did not specify who fired first.

Officers attempted life-saving measures until medics arrived. The man died at the scene.

No officers were injured and one officer fired at the man.

The Spokane Independent Investigative Response Team, made up of officers from several local agencies, is investigating the shooting with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office managing.

Yellow police tape was still up at the scene as of about 1 p.m. Saturday.

The incident marked the third officer shooting in Spokane County in 2021 and the second death as a result of officers firing their weapons this year. Spokane police have killed two people in 2021. One Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy shot and injured Lloyd Vaughn, who survived.

Spokane Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Teresa Fuller said the department would not answer questions yet. The department will release the name of the officer who fired the weapon in the coming days, according to the release.

The victim’s identity also has yet to be released.

Editor’s note: This story was updated April 21, 2021 to include findings from the Spokane County Medical Examiner.

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