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

Fight over ice cream led to shooting near Lilac Parade route

A shooting in downtown Spokane forced a long pause in the annual Spokane Lilac Festival Association’s Armed Forces Torchlight Parade late Saturday as police worked to secure the area and emergency crews treated someone who was injured.  (Garrett Cabeza/The Spokesman-Review)

A fight that started over ice cream in a downtown Spokane convenience store during the Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade on Saturday ended with one arrest and two people in the hospital , court records show.

The parade was paused and rerouted at about 9 p.m. after police received reports of a shooting inside PM Jacoy’s convenience store at Washington Street and Sprague Avenue, Spokane police Lt. Jay Kernkamp said Saturday.

Police arrested Charles H. Michael, 32, on suspicion of first-degree assault after he received treatment at a local hospital for a head wound due to the shooting, court records show.

PM Jacoy’s owner, Eui Hwang, told police he saw two people leave a freezer door open for a long time without buying anything, so he told them to close the door and leave if they weren’t going to purchase the ice cream. One of them, Ashley Tsoodle, was upset and threw a container of ice cream on the floor, court records say.

Hwang grabbed Tsoodle and attempted to guide her out of the store when she and Michael started punching Hwang and beating him with an ice scraper, Hwang told detectives, according to records.

His son, Ryan Hwang, emerged from the back of the store and yelled out that Michael had a knife. Ryan Hwang attempted to intervene, court records said, but was also assaulted.

He saw Michael hold up a large knife during the scuffle and point it toward Eui Hwang. He said he was afraid Michael would stab his father, so Ryan Hwang tried to stop Michael and told him to drop the weapon.

A different employee also intervened and hit Michael on the back of his head with a pipe, causing him to let go of the knife. Tsoodle and Ryan Hwang were in fighting at the same time, court records say.

As they were punching each other, Ryan Hwang’s Glock 17 that he carries for protection accidentally discharged, grazing the side of Michael’s head and hitting Tsoodle.

Both left the store and police arrived, court records said.

Michael, who spoke to police in the hospital, told a different story.

He said Eui Hwang attacked Tsoodle after she threw her ice cream, so Michael threw his ice cream at his head in retaliation, he said, according to court records. As Eui Hwang and Tsoodle “grappled,” Michael tried to break up the fight, he said.

When Ryan Hwang and the other employee came to Eui Hwang’s aid, Michael noticed the knife in his belt had fallen to the floor. As he was hit in the head with a pipe, he reached out to grab it, he told police. Michael held the knife above his head and told everyone he wasn’t going to use it, but he would if he had to, court records say.

Michael said Ryan Hwang fired the gun twice, and Tsoodle yelled that they needed to leave the store. He noticed she was bleeding when she got outside, he told police.

Michael is currently being held in the Spokane County Jail. He had a warrant out for his arrest on multiple charges of identity theft and forgery, court records show.