Homeless man points pistol at driver stopped at Spokane Valley traffic light

Homeless man points pistol at driver stopped at Spokane Valley traffic light
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

A panhandler who allegedly pointed a gun at a driver at a Spokane Valley traffic light refused to cooperate with deputies and told them to shoot him, according to Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Spokane Valley deputies responded to a report of a man, later identified as Steven Kester, 38, pointing a pistol at a man who was stopped at a traffic light on E. Sprague June 14, just before 4:00 p.m.

The victim said Kester was yelling and when he looked over at him, Kester was pointing the pistol at him. The victim said he was in fear for his life and began honking his horn, hoping the driver in front of him would move so he wouldn’t be shot. The victim said the driver was on the phone and didn’t move.

The victim said Kester then put the pistol in his pocket and walked East, pushing a shopping cart.

Deputy Eric Reyes arrived to find Kester sitting on a short brick wall in front of a bank. As the deputy got out of his patrol car, he saw a large object in Kester’s pocket, where the victim said Kester had put the pistol.

Deputy Reyes drew his gun and gave commands for Kester to show his hands, not reach for anything, and get on the ground. Kester refused to comply and according to the deputy, began yelling, “Just (expletive) kill me! Shoot me right here in the head!”

Deputy Reyes told Kester he knew he had a gun and told him not to reach for it. Kester replied, “(Expletive) you! I am not giving you my gun. You’ll have to (expletive) kill me!”

The deputy called for backup and two other deputies arrived to help him. Kester remained defiant and continued to yell. With Kester’s hands visible, two deputies approached him with guns drawn.

Kester struggled, breaking free from the deputies’ grasp. He reached toward his pocket and all three deputies began striking him to take him to the ground. They eventually gained control and handcuffed him. They found a Ruger LCP .380 in Kester’s pocket. The gun was loaded, but the chamber was empty.

Kester was booked into jail for 1st Degree Assault.