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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bouncer grabbed gun before it fired in downtown Spokane bar

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 13, 2021

A woman was arrested on multiple assault charges after witnesses said she pointed a pistol at a Spokane city bus driver and a bar customer before they wrestled the firearm out of her hands.

A Spokane Transit Authority bus driver was between rides around 11 p.m. at Sprague Avenue and Howard Street when he was approached by a visibly distraught woman, according to court records.

The woman, identified in documents as Savanna Merrill, 28, began to pull on the driver, he told investigators, so he decided to retreat and close the doors to the bus.

He saw her point a gun at the doors and asked the driver to reopen them, according to the affidavit. He saw her then cross the street , the affidavit said.

Three witnesses walking along Sprague Avenue around 11:15 p.m. saw a woman head toward Red Room Lounge, 521 W. Sprague Ave., and she appeared to be carrying a gun, according to their accounts in the affidavit.

A witness visiting Spokane from out of state was leaving Red Room when a woman holding a pistol confronted and shoved him, according to the affidavit.

He told police he saw her display a firearm and point it in his direction before the Red Room bouncer grabbed and lifted the pistol upward.

The bouncer told investigators he grabbed the gun and wrestled it away from her once he saw her point it at a bar patron, according to the affidavit. Witnesses heard one gunshot coming from the firearm, according to the affidavit. No one was injured, police said.

Another witness told investigators he placed the defendant in a “full nelson” hold before law enforcement arrived to the scene.

Spokane police officers arrived on-scene around 11:20 p.m. and learned from witnesses the gun had fired near a bar patron. An officer identified the pistol as a .380-caliber Ruger, according to the affidavit. The officer also observed its slide stuck open with an empty case that failed to eject completely, and one round found in the magazine.

Surveillance video from a nearby business showed a woman later identified as Merrill and others engaged in a struggle in front of the lounge, according to the affidavit.

Authorities attempted to detain Merrill at the scene and said the suspect kicked another officer twice, according to the affidavit.

Merrill was booked into Spokane County Jail on two counts of first-degree assault and one count of third-degree assault for her allegedly kicking a law enforcement officer, according to court documents .

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