Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 53° Clear
News >  Crime/Public Safety

Post Falls coffee shop shooter caught on video before fleeing

Dec. 3, 2021 Updated Sat., Dec. 4, 2021 at 10:09 a.m.

Surveillance cameras captured the Wednesday shooting at Kokopelli Coffee in Post Falls that left two men injured, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Post Falls police received multiple 911 calls just after 1:30 p.m. reporting an active shooter in the parking lot of a gas station at 2509 North Highway 41, according to court documents. The parking lot is also home to Kokopelli Coffee.

Police arrived to find Jacob A. Sheppard, 30, with a gunshot wound to the neck and Jason Griffin, 38, shot in the right leg. Both men were taken to Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene. Sheppard was in stable condition, according to a Facebook post by the coffee shop. Griffin was treated and released, according to the hospital.

In that same post, they wrote the shooting “shook us all,” calling it “random.” A Go-Fund-Me for the Sheppard family has raised more than $6,000.

Witnesses told police the shooter, later identified as Tisen Sterkel, 32, of Newport, Washington, had fled the scene in a gold Ford F-150 with a yellow tarp in the bed.

One witness was sitting in the passenger seat of her car at the gas pumps when she heard a loud pop and her tire went flat, according to court documents. She saw a man standing near the driver’s door of a gold colored truck before another pop, she told police. The man then got into the truck and drove away, the witness said.

Another witness was parked at a gas pump when he saw a man “messing with” something in the bed of a gold truck, he told police. He then heard two gunshots before the shooter pointed the gun at him and fired another shot. The witness wasn’t injured and tried to flee before he saw the truck leave the parking lot, according to court documents.

CCTV video from the gas station shows a man, who matches Sterkel’s description, firing at least twice at Sheppard before returning to his truck and shooting two more rounds, one that hit the witness’ tire, and one that hit Griffin, according to court documents.

Post Falls police called in other agencies to help look for Sterkel, including the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, who responded to reports of a robbery at Highway 53 and McGuire Road just before 2 p.m. Wednesday.

There deputies found Jesse Ray Monroy, who said he was walking back to his work truck when a man pulled up in a gold truck, got out and asked if the white Dodge Ram 2500 was Monroy’s.

When Monroy said it was his truck, Sterkel, grabbed his rile, chambered a round and pointed the gun at Monroy, he told police.

Sterkel told Monroy to give him the keys to his truck before driving west on Highway 53.

Deputies found Monroy’s truck in an area north of Payment Peak Road a short time later. One deputy remained on the scene of the carjacking while others continued to look for Sterkel.

The deputy was chatting with workers in the area when a grey GMC truck revved its engine. The deputy then saw the truck driving down the railroad tracks toward the deputy.

The truck went airborne, the deputy wrote in court documents, before it passed the deputy.

The driver matched Sterkel’s description, the deputy said.

Sterkel swerved across the tracks and continued to drive beside them before getting stuck in the hillside, the deputy wrote. Sterkel then got out of the gray truck and headed toward 14617 W. Hayden Ave., where he climbed into another gold Ford.

Deputies began to pursue Sterkel who drove through a field before returning to the house where he took the truck. A SWAT team pinned the truck in and Sterkel was taken into custody.

Once in custody, Sterkel was taken to Kootenai Health to get medically cleared, while there he made a comment that he hoped the people he shot were OK , according to deputies.

He also said he couldn’t believe he shot someone in the neck and then another guy in the leg, deputies wrote in court documents. In a subsequent interview, Sterkel admitted he had shot people at the gas station but didn’t know if he hit anyone and that he thought he was being followed.

After speaking with an attorney, Sterkel spoke with investigators again and said he didn’t know why he had shot people and thought something inside of him “snapped.”

Sterkel was charged with multiple counts of aggravated battery, aggravated assault, possession of a stolen vehicle and unlawful entry, among other charges. While Sterkel has no significant criminal history in Idaho, he does have a handful of traffic infractions in Washington.

He remains in the Kootenai County Jail on a $2 million bond.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.