Friends, Neighbors React To North Spokane Murder-Suicide

SPOKANE - Friends and neighbors are beginning to talk about the murder-suicide that happened Saturday night in North Spokane, saying the neighborhood is a friendly place and violence is the last thing they'd expect from the man police have deemed the murderer.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office SWAT team found a 20-year-old woman dead in the living room of her apartment, located in the 200 block of Westview Avenue, around 9 p.m. Saturday.

Following hours of negotiations, detectives obtained a search warrant and entered the 26-year-old suspect's apartment and found the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The two were neighbors. Both have not been identified.

One of the victim's close friends, Jeanie Johnson, reached out to KXLY Sunday on Facebook about the shooting.

Johnson wrote: "I was very close to the victim and her family. She was a great young lady who had just began to live. She was like a sister to me."

A former neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said the apartment complex was a friendly place, and had heard that just a few hours before the shooting they were all having pizza together.

Though the former neighbor is shocked by what happened, he disclosed that the suspect was unstable but he never thought he would turn to violence.

Spokane County Sheriff's Detective Dave Thornburg said there's speculation that the suspect was "infatuated" with the victim, but the motive for the murder-suicide is unclear.

He said that during the nearly seven hours the Sheriff's Office tried to negotiate with the man to come out of his apartment and surrender peacefully they were never able to make contact with him and speculate that he killed himself early on.

Their bodies have been sent to the Spokane County Medical Examiner. Their identities will be released upon positive identification and notification of next of kin.