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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Man accused of firing at officers was in car with three people, including child, moments before shooting

A man who is accused of firing at officers Sunday, Oct. 16 in downtown Spokane is shown — via police body camera footage — fleeing a vehicle with a gun in his hand.   (Courtesy of Spokane Independent Investigative Response Team)

A man, woman and child were inside the vehicle that another man got out of before firing at police Sunday in downtown Spokane, according to the team investigating the shooting.

Officers shot the suspect, who remains hospitalized in critical condition, and a Spokane police officer sustained a head injury when he was struck by what is believed to be a bullet or fragment, the Spokane Independent Investigative Response Team said in a news release. The officer was treated and released from the hospital.

The man, woman and child inside the car in which the suspect was a passenger were uninjured, the release said. They were detained and then released without charges.

Investigators recovered a semiautomatic handgun near the suspect and several spent casings of various calibers from the scene, according to investigators. They also found what they said was a large quantity of a controlled substance and another semiautomatic handgun with an extended magazine in the vehicle the suspect arrived in.

Police have not released the name of the suspect.

Around 11 a.m. Sunday, Spokane police officers learned a suspect of a Spokane police and Drug Enforcement Administration narcotics distribution investigation was in a car near the intersection of First Avenue and Cedar Street, according to the release.

About 20 minutes later, multiple police vehicles, with emergency lights activated, converged on the car the suspect was in, blocking it to prevent escape.

The suspect exited the vehicle with a handgun and started shooting at officers, investigators said. Officers returned fire, striking the man, who then fell to the ground.

The response team investigating the shooting includes multiple agencies in Eastern Washington, including the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, Spokane Valley Police Department, Liberty Lake Police Department and the Airway Heights Police Department. Spokane police will not be involved in the investigation.

Spokane police have not released the names of the officers involved in the shooting but will when appropriate, the release said.