Spokane Police recover airsoft gun from downtown standoff scene

Spokane Police recovered an airsoft gun from the scene of Monday night’s downtown standoff.

Police responded to reports of an armed man, later identified as Phillip Booher, in the area of 2nd and Walnut Monday evening.

Washington State Patrol troopers said the standoff began when troopers stopped a car on Highway 2 and tried to identify the passenger. That passenger (Booher), reportedly pointed a gun at the trooper and told them “I’m not going back to jail.”

Troopers said Booher them jumped into the driver seat, as the other occupants jumped out of the car, and led troopers on a chase that ended at the gas station.

Several people inside the store, including the clerk, got out safely before Booher barricaded himself inside. SPD said Booher barricaded himself inside the beverage cooler.

According to a release from the police department, video obtained from the gas station shows Booher concealed behind the employee counter holding what appeared to be a gun in one hand and igniting a fire.

Court documents state Booher lit newspapers on fire inside the gas station.

SWAT team members used chemical munitions to try and get Booher to surrender. Police said their goal was to get Booher out of the building and away from the fire so firefighters could access the property and work to extinguish it.

Booher eventually surrendered and was taken into police custody. He was taken to the hospital, but was released and booked into jail early Tuesday.

Upon further investigation, police determined the weapon in Booher’s hand was an airsoft gun that resembled an actual firearm.

Booher has felony convictions for burglary, possession of a controlled substance and taking a motor vehicle without owner permission.

Booher made his first appearance in court Tuesday afternoon. A judge set his bond at $500,000.

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