Local News

Man ready to fire at Union Gospel Mission did it to "clean up the streets"

Man ready to fire at Union Gospel...

SPOKANE, Wash. - A man armed with an AK-47 and 60 rounds ready to fire told Spokane Police he had driven to the Union Gospel Mission to “clean up the streets.”

That frightening confession is another indication a pair of undercover officers prevented what could have been a massacre last Thursday.

The suspected gunman, Nicholas McRae, is facing new charges at the Spokane County Jail.

McRae is now looking at two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm for each gun Spokane Police found in his car.

Based on statements McRae made to investigators, McRae was planning on a drive-by shooting and the attack foiled at the last minute by Spokane Police.

Officers saw McRae holding the AK-47 with a sawed-off barrel driving down Trent Avenue. Before they could call for backup, McRae was slowing down for the people hanging out near the Union Gospel Mission.

“The suspect actually drove by the Union Gospel Mission and had turned around so that the driver side of the car that had the gun facing out of the window was actually pointing at the Union Gospel Mission location,” said Spokane Police Department Captain Brad Arleth.

That's when officers Clark and Vigesaa turned on their lights and siren.

Surveillance video shows McRae blowing through the red at Trent and Hamilton, colliding with a car, then trying to outrun police.

That didn't work, and after McRae was arrested, he told officers why he had gone to the Mission in the first place.

“Basically he had an ax to grind with them,” said Arleth. “He felt he had been wronged by them at some point in the recent past and he made statements to the arresting officers that he was armed for cleaning up the streets.”

Armed with an AK-47 and 61 rounds in a drum magazine, McRae could have done a lot of damage.
McRae was a guest at the Union Gospel back in 2016 and claims the Mission kicked him out a low point in his life.

Fortunately, a heads up play by two undercover cops kept something really bad from happening.

“People have these grudges and they go back to somewhere where they think there's an issue and carry out some threats with a firearm,” said Arleth. “So we're very thankful the officers were there and I'm very proud of them for taking these steps."

McRae also had a loaded .38 revolver. When police searched his car they found he had pulled down his back seat so he could ditch his guns into the trunk if he was spotted.

Over the weekend, the bond amount McRae would have to post to get out of jail rose to $25,000.