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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man arrested after firing handgun multiple times in downtown Spokane

Dec. 6, 2022 Updated Tue., Dec. 6, 2022 at 7:29 p.m.

Spokane police officers arrested a man on suspicion of firing a handgun into the air more than a dozen times in downtown Spokane on Tuesday morning.

Calls poured into police regarding the shooting at about 7:45 a.m. Officers found Benjamin M. Crofoot, 45, walking through traffic on Spokane Falls Boulevard heading toward Riverfront Park, according to a police news release. Officers stopped traffic on the boulevard and arrested Crofoot.

Three construction workers working on an upper level of 222 N. Howard St. said they saw a man, who police later identified as Crofoot, yelling in the street around 8 a.m.

“He looked like he was on drugs or had a mental health issue,” said construction worker Denny Weiland.

The man fired the handgun into the air, emptying a handgun magazine, then reloaded it and fired again, Weiland said.

Spokane police said that they recovered more than two dozen shell casings in the area. No one was injured by the gunfire, but police said Crofoot pointed the gun at three people, including two in a vehicle.

A commercial van made an abrupt turn on Spokane Falls Boulevard in response to the shots, running over a parking meter, said Brad McElroy, another one of the workers.

Police also recovered a semiautomatic handgun that Crofoot dropped in the street.

Spokane Falls Boulevard was closed while police worked the scene. It was reopened by 9:30 a.m.

Crofoot was booked into the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of three counts of first-degree assault, one count of unlawful discharge of a firearm and 28 counts of reckless endangerment.

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