SPOKANE, Wash. - Authorities with the Washington State Patrol are investigating a officer-involved shooting on the lower South Hill Tuesday morning.
According to police, several people called 9-1-1 at 1:18 a.m. to report a bald white man with blue jeans and no shirt standing in the middle of the street yelling and firing a gun near the intersection of 8th Avenue and Adams Street.
"[A friend of mine] was riding his bike on Adams Street, 8th and Adams and he heard an individual screaming, calling for his girlfriend," witness Derek Delos Santos said. "Apparently he was yelling her name, 'Mandie, Mandie, Mandie' over and over again, [he] also said he heard gunshots, two gunshots go off in the air before we saw the cops actually arrive on the scene."
Spokane police officers responded to the scene within two minutes. Police Chief Frank Straub said that when officers approached the man, who was standing in the middle of the street, he took off running.One dead in South Hill officer-involved shooting
"The suspect then got in a vehicle and fled the area," Straub added. "We then engaged in a very short vehicle pursuit lasted all of about five or six minutes."
"The first one turned on 7th, then next one turned on 8th, the third one turned on 9th and then two more went straight up Monroe," Delos Santos said.
"It was a very weird thing to see, especially with it being like a Jeep Grand Cherokee trying to outrun some cops. It was like he had no chance," witness Nate Arnold said.
Officers pursued the suspect for about five minutes, and were able to box in the suspect near the Ace Hardware store at 9th Avenue and Monroe Street.
"Another cop's car followed from behind, pinning him in and just moments later we could hear close to a dozen gun shots go off all within a few seconds and it was all over," Delos Santos said.
"One of the police officers ended up side-swiping him, a PIT maneuver I guess, into the Ace Hardware building, and right when that happened we heard, I estimate, about ten gunshots," Arnold said.
The suspect had gotten out of the Grand Cherokee and pointed a gun at officers, who responded by firing several shots at him, striking and killing him.
"Within a few seconds gunshots and then silence from then on out. All you could hear were sirens and see lights. Besides that, as far as I know, the individual, his life, was over," Delos Santos said.
It's not known if the suspect fired on officers, however no officers were injured. Paramedics were called in but the suspect died at the scene.
Due to the scale of the crime scene, which covers many city blocks, police have closed Monroe Street between 8th and 10th Avenues indefinitely while the scene is investigated.
Since the officers involved were members of the Spokane Police Department, the critical incident protocol is in effect, which means another law enforcement agency -- in this case the Washington State Patrol -- is leading the shooting investigation.
This was the first time Chief Straub has dealt with a deadly shooting involving his officers and had high praise for their performance.
"My message to the community is that we are served by a very good police department, police officers who puts themselves at risk every day to protect the community so they can be safe at night and sleep in their homes and enjoy their neighborhoods," he said. "They are incredibly fearless, incredibly brave and incredibly dedicated to the job to the job they perform and incredibly professional in the way they handled this scene."
Late Tuesday afternoon the medical examiner identified the suspect as Jacob Dorfman, 52. The cause of death was listed as gunshot wounds. Dorfman, who is originally from California, has a string of convictions from Grant County in the mid-2000s on charges ranging from burglary and possession of stolen property to assault, domestic violence, eluding police and assaulting a law enforcement officer.
As for the officers involved in the shooting, they will now be placed on paid administrative leave and give their statements on the shooting to investigators within the next 72 hours.
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