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Wash. cops kill suspect in front of news crew

Police investigating a homicide shot and killed a man in front of reporters after he drove his car through a barricade

By Kip Hill
The Spokesman-Review

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane police investigating a homicide at a north Spokane home Tuesday shot and killed a man in front of news reporters and other witnesses after he drove his blue pickup through a barricade and pointed what appeared to be a pistol at officers.

The shooting happened outside 2512 N. Standard St. at 1:50 p.m. as investigators looked into the death of a woman whose body was found at the small home just blocks from Logan Elementary School and Gonzaga Prep.

Spokane police Chief Frank Straub said the man shot and killed by officers was a suspect in the homicide.

"We had identified him and had, in fact, been looking for him for approximately two hours," he said.

Police did not release the names of the woman found dead or the name of the man killed by officers.

Media members had assembled for a news conference outside the home about 15 minutes before the shooting. KXLY photographer Ernie Vela captured video of the shooting. The tape showed a white man exit the pickup at the corner of Standard and Jackson Avenue. The man points what appears to be a silver handgun at two officers on the driver's side of the truck. They fire. A third officer is standing south of the driver, between the truck and Vela, with his weapon drawn.

A gray ballcap on the man's head slides off as he slumps to the ground. Investigators place a tarp over the man's body.

Just before the shooting, the truck stopped abruptly in front of the address. Officers approached with their weapons drawn. Seconds later, gunshots could be heard through the neighborhood.

A man who claimed to know the shot man walked into the street, saying the gun was fake. He walked to his vehicle parked on Jackson and started it. He then walked back to speak with investigators on the scene.

A neighbor who lives down the street, Henry Sasser, was walking back to his home when the truck pulled up. He said the man shot had a beard and moustache, and held a gray object at his waist that appeared to be a gun.

Sasser said officers told the man to get out of the truck multiple times after he stopped the car. KXLY's video shows the gunfire smashing the driver's side window of the truck.

The Spokane Investigative Regional Response team was called per protocol in officer-involved fatalities. The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is heading the investigation into the shooting. The man killed Tuesday is the third person shot and killed by local law enforcement this year.

Copyright 2014 The Spokesman-Review 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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