Local News

Convicted felon points assault rifle at Union Gospel Mission

SPOKANE, Wash. - Two Spokane Police Officers may have prevented a drive-by shooting at the Union Gospel Mission Thursday afternoon.

The suspected gunman must not have known he was driving next to an unmarked police car, because as Nicholas McRae slowly passed the police charger on Trent, he had an assault-style rifle in his lap.

But before officers could pull McRae over, he turned in front of the Union Gospel Mission.

It's the second time since February that Nicholas McRae has been arrested with a gun he can't legally possess.

Court records from Kootenai County show McRae will stand trial next month for being an armed, convicted felon there.

On Thursday, McRae was allegedly toting around a carbine with a drum magazine as he made his way down Trent Avenue.

“The officers did see a subject driving a car and they could obviously see the person had a rifle inside the vehicle,” said Officer John O'Brien.

The officers slid in behind McRae's car, but before they could get him stopped, McRae slowed down and looked like he was going to shoot at people on the East side of the Mission.

“The officers who were behind the person with a weapon could see that the weapon was up above the seat level and it was pointed at the direction of the building, the Union Gospel Mission,” O'Brien said.

And that's about the time McRae saw the cops in the rear-view mirror, and led police on a pursuit towards the WSU campus.

“Those officers did not let him get away because the safety of the community is paramount. They did pursue him in a vehicle and on foot when the person jumped out of the vehicle, still trying to flee capture,” said O'Brien.

Judge Annette Plese set McRae's bond at $200,000 Friday afternoon.

So now detectives need to get a warrant to search McRae's car and get a look at the assault style weapon and see how many rounds were in that drum magazine.

McRae's intentions are unknown, but it is known that he was a guest at the Union Gospel Mission for two weeks in 2016, so his reappearance there with a gun wasn't likely a coincidence.