Man shot by police Sunday involved in 2007 drive-by shooting

SPOKANE, Wash. - A man shot by Spokane police this last weekend has a criminal history that dates back to his teens and includes a 2007 drive-by shooting.

Jesse Johnson, 24, was shot in the leg after police responded to a person with a gun call just after 4 a.m. Sunday in the mini-mart parking lot at Mission and Napa in northeast Spokane.

Witnesses told police that Johnson was pointing a very real looking gun at people, standing in a yard and demanding the return of a bicycle. The first call to 9-1-1 reported a man walking through the neighborhood firing what looked like a shotgun.

Johnson was yelling at people inside a home, demanding they give him back his bike.

"So far our investigation shows we have at least one witness, possibly more, saying the suspect had pointed what appeared to be a rifle at them," Spokane Police Major Craig Meidl said.

Jesse Johnson shooting folo

The first officer on scene found Johnson and ordered him to drop the rifle. When it appeared Johnson was about to shoot, the officer opened fire.

It was determined later the rifle was actually a BB gun.

"Generally speaking if anyone is portraying any weapon as a real weapon we have to believe it's a real weapon and we have to act on that," Deputy Mark Gregory with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said.

"If somebody is pointing a weapon that appears to be a real weapon, and they turn around and are portraying it as a real weapon, then we have a duty to protect the citizens at that point or ourselves," Gregory said.

Once Johnson was taken to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound, injuries officers found he was carry a small bag of methamphetamine.

When he's released from the hospital, Johnson will be charged with assault.

The officer who shot Johnson, Ronald Van Tassel, 31, is on paid administrative leave.