East Spokane man arrested after early morning standoff

SPOKANE, Wash. - A drunken man who allegedly fired a gun inside his home held Spokane police at bay early Monday morning during a seven-hour standoff with the SWAT team.

The armored cars started rolling into the foggy neighborhood the intersection of Fairview and Havana just inside the city limits early Monday after Steven Zimmerman's wife called 9-1-1 to say her husband had armed himself with a rifle during an alcohol-fueled argument

"At some point there was a firearm introduced into the argument and I don't have a lot of the specifics other than he did have a gun with him. That certainly raises a level for concern for all parties involved," Spokane Police spokesperson Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said.

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Zimmerman's wife and teenage son fled the home when they heard the first rifle shot. Witnesses told arriving officers Zimmerman, 51, was still inside.

"At that point we decided we just can't walk away from this and he needs to be taken into custody and we're spending hours upon hours trying to convince him to come out. Who knows what he's doing on the inside," DeRuwe said.

Periodically the voice of a police negotiator echoed through the neighborhood as police used a public address system to try to bring Zimmerman to the front door. They also used their robot to bring a cell phone to Zimmerman.

When that didn't work, six and half hours into the standoff, the SWAT team began firing pepper powder into the home.

"There was a lot of chemical agent that was inserted. The reason it wasn't working is because he was secreted in a detached garage and he wasn't getting the full brunt of the spray," DeRuwe said.

Zimmerman was finally taken into custody around 7:30 a.m.