Spokane County deputies shot and killed a man Tuesday, ending a 12-hour standoff in Greenacres where the suspect fired a gun as officers surrounded his home, shot down two police drones and walked outside and confronted the SWAT team after a suspicious fire began burning inside the home.
Neighbors in the 18600 block of East Lindsay reported hearing gunshots and found bullet holes in more than one nearby house at around 11 p.m. Monday, according to a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office news release.
The suspect barricaded himself inside his home as he had what the sheriff’s described as a mental health crisis. During the standoff the man fired several shots from the home.
Authorities spotted the man moving around the house, wearing a gas mask and holding a handgun during the incident, the sheriff’s office said.
Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said deputies first tried to speak with the man, who has not been identified, when they arrived at the home.
Authorities surrounded the residence and SWAT personnel were called, Knezovich said. He said numerous attempts were made to contact the man but they were unsuccessful.
“We weren’t ever really able to establish rapport with him in order to de-escalate this,” he said.
Law enforcement sent drones into the house, but a sheriff’s office news release said the man shot and disabled two drones. He said the man shot one drone in the residence and it appeared he shot another drone out of the sky. One drone was shot at about 9:20 a.m. and the other around 10:40 a.m., the sheriff’s office said.
Deputies reported a possible fire around 7:25 a.m. on the second floor, according to the sheriff’s office. A few minutes later, water appeared to be dripping from the second-floor ceiling into the garage, but no flames were observed.
Around 10:50 a.m., deputies saw a fire inside the home on the second floor and flames and smoke were visible outside within minutes. Less than 10 minutes later, the suspect tried to extinguish the fire while continuing to fire multiple shots.
A few minutes later, he went into the garage, gained access to a vehicle in an apparent attempt to flee, but then decided to run toward the backyard, the sheriff’s office said. SWAT team members confronted the man and shots were fired. He died at the scene.
Knezovich said he believed three SWAT team members fired their weapons. Knezovich said he did not know what type of weapon the man used but he potentially had several guns.
Spokane Valley firefighters extinguished the flames. Knezovich said firefighters noticed “suspicious wiring” at the home which concerned officials there might have been explosive devices in the house. The sheriff’s office said potential explosive-making material was found in the home.
He said an Explosive Disposal Unit was checking the residence Tuesday afternoon and the scene would not be turned over to law enforcement or fire agencies until the house was deemed safe. Shortly before 5 p.m., the Explosive Disposal Unit determined the home was safe, the sheriff’s office said.
Gene Grandinetti, a neighbor, said he noticed police activity in the neighborhood, which he described as typically “very, very quiet,” around 3 a.m. Tuesday. He said he heard a few gunshots and “booms,” which Knezovich said were likely law enforcement deploying tear gas into the home.
“It was nerve-wracking,” Grandinetti said of the long standoff, adding that he felt more at ease with the large police presence.
He said he and his wife stayed in their basement for the majority of the incident as a safety precaution.
Knezovich said he did not know if the fire destroyed the home because investigators were unable to survey the house due to the suspicious wiring. Significant damage to the home could be seen Tuesday.
“We really don’t know the full extent of the scene because we haven’t been able to go into it,” he said.
Classes at Greenacres Elementary School, which was about 1 mile from the standoff, were canceled Tuesday because of the incident, according to the Central Valley School District website.
The Spokane Independent Investigative Response Team, comprised of multiple law enforcement agencies in Eastern Washington, is investigating the shooting. The Washington State Patrol is the lead investigative agency. No one was injured besides the man who was shot and killed, Knezovich said.
The sheriff’s office will release the names of the deputies involved in the incident at a later time and the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the decedent’s name when appropriate.
“We’re just glad it’s over,” Grandinetti said.
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.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.