SPOKANE, Wash. - Court records indicate a man shot and killed by police following a brief standoff might have been preparing to die in a suicide-by-cop incident.
Stephen Corkery, 30, was shot by police on the evening of March 26, 2014 as he left a residence in the 1500 block of West Grace. Before he walked out, officers contacted him using a patrol car public address system, asking him to come out peacefully. When he walked out of the residence, officers saw a gun in his hand, Corkery refused commands to drop the weapon and, as he continued to walk out of the house, five officers opened fire on him.
Authorities recovered 14 shell casings from the scene, including three .45 caliber casings from a pistol and 11 .223 caliber casings from an AR-15 rifle.
Detectives also recovered a black CO2 pellet pistol from the scene. Court records indicate Corkery walked out of the residence, with the pistol in his hand. After he was shot he fell to the ground and dropped the weapon.
The night before he was shot, two people who knew Corkery confronted him about his possible involvement in a string of armed robberies across Spokane. Corkery told them that he would make sure they weren't implicated in the robberies and then wrote two notes with instructions that "when it all goes down" give the notes to the police.
One note, signed by Corkery, admitted he was alone in committing any robberies he may be implicated in. The second letter was an apology addressed to his friends and family.
People that knew Corkery said that in the past he would ask for food and shelter from his sister but that in recent weeks he always had money. He borrowed a friend's Chevy Tahoe, the vehicle that was allegedly spotted in surveillance video at several crime scenes, and that the friend who owned the car said Corkery would borrow it early in the day and then return it late in the evening, always making sure to give the person gas money after borrowing it.
Witnesses who knew Corkery told police he was heavily addicted to heroin and would use up to several grams a day or more if he had it. The last person arguably to see him alive before police showed up at the West Grace residence on March 26 said that Corkery told him that he was not going back to prison.
As the individual left the house Corkery was reportedly shooting up drugs.