Suspect claims self-defense in deadly Hillyard shooting
One man was shot and killed before midnight in Hillyard in what police think was a drug deal gone bad.
The shooting happened just before midnight near the intersection of East Empire and North Cook. Police received calls from neighbors around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday reporting several gunshots. When officers arrived they found a man lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds.
Despite the efforts of Spokane Fire Department personnel to revive him the victim succumbed to his injuries.
Police interviewed people in the house where the shooting happened, gathered intelligence from the gang unit and quickly determined who their suspect was and where he would be hiding.
They found his car a short time later near the intersection of Mission and Napa and found the suspect inside a nearby house in the 1900 block of E. Sinto. He was arrested and taken into custody.
"It was excellent intelligence both by patrol and by our gang unit to get this thing resolved in about an hour and 15 minutes, so we're really impressed," said Lieutenant Dean Sprague of the Spokane Police Department.
While the gang unit was involved in helping develop intelligence on the suspect, police held a media briefing Wednesday morning at 10:30 and confirmed that, after interviewing the suspect, they have determined it wasn't gang-related but rather the shooting was a result of a drug deal gone bad.
The suspect, who is cooperating with authorities, claimed he shot the victim in self-defense during the drug deal that might've been precipitated by a scuffle and a robbery attempt.
Both men were armed and police recovered both weapons.
"The guy put a gun to my head and I shot him," the shooting suspect, who has not been identified, told KXLY's Erik Loney.
The man said that the victim threatened to shoot him multiple times as he was leaving the residence in the 2400 block of East Empire. As he was walking outside, the victim poked him in the back with his gun several times, telling him 'You'd better run.'
The shooter said he spun around and opened fire with his own weapon, firing between three and six times. After shooting him he grabbed the victim's weapon, so that he couldn't be shot and the gun couldn't be hidden so he could prove the shooting was self defense, the man said. He claimed he turned both his and the victim's weapons over to police voluntarily.
Police have executed search warrants at the residence in the 2400 block of East Empire, where the victim was found, and a residence in the 1900 block of E. Sinto, where the suspect was found. Officers are also conducting interviews of people that may have information about the incident.
The shooting suspect has not been charged by authorities and has been released from police custody.
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