SPOKANE, Wash. - The suspect in an hours-long standoff in downtown Spokane is being held on $500,000 bond.
Police said 49-year-old Phillip Booher was holed up in the 76 gas station on W. 2nd Ave. and S. Walnut Street since around 6 p.m. on Monday. Police reported he was taken into custody just before midnight.
Washington State Patrol said the standoff started when troopers stopped a car on HWY 2 and tried to ID the passenger. That passenger, later identified as Booher, reportedly pointed a gun at the trooper and told them "I'm not going back to jail."
Troopers said Booher then jumped into the driver seat, as the other passengers jumped out of the car, and led troopers on a chase that ended at that gas station on 2nd and Walnut. Several people inside the store, including the clerk, got out safely before Booher barricaded himself inside. That's when Spokane Police were called in to help.
Just after 7:00 p.m., police said Booher began to light things on fire inside the store. Police then used chemical agents to try and get him to leave the gas station. Police said Booher was telling negotiators he would shoot the first officer he saw.
For several more hours, negotiators continued to urge Booher to leave the building peacefully. The fire he set led to the evacuation of the nearby Tiki Lodge Motel.
Just after 11:30 p.m., SWAT officers moved in and took Booher into custody. Medics treated him on scene. He was transported to an area hospital and was later released. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail at 5:36 a.m. Tuesday.
Booher made his first appearance in court Tuesday afternoon in a wheelchair.
Booher is charged with first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, first-degree arson, among other possible charges as the investigation continues. He was also booked on an unrelated bench warrant out of Walla Walla County.
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