Witness describes moments leading up to fatal police shooting in Hillyard

Witness describes moments leading up to fatal police shooting in Hillyard

The man shot by Spokane Police responding to a domestic violence call has been identified as Jim Danforth by a woman who said she called 911 after he fired a weapon inside her home.

Theresa Fletcher said Danforth had been crashing on her couch for the last month and was drinking heavily hours before the deadly encounter with police.

Fletcher said she kicked Danforth out of her home Wednesday afternoon and told him to come back when he was sober. Fletcher said Danforth refused to leave, and broke a window to get back inside the home. Fletcher called 911 when she discovered Danforth had broken into the house, she said he pointed a gun to her head and fired multiple shots, which 911 dispatchers heard over the phone.

Fletcher locked herself in a bedroom upstairs and Danforth left before police arrived – Fletcher believes he hid inside an abandoned house next door and ambushed officers still at the scene 90 minutes after the initial call came in.

The two Spokane Police officers were uninjured in the gun fight. They returned fire, and Danforth died on the way to the hospital. Police said Danforth has multiple felony convictions and should not have been in possession of a gun. Fletcher says Danforth had a drinking problem, was in poor health and experienced hallucinations.

The two Spokane officers who fired at Danforth have been placed on administrative leave – their names have not yet been released. The Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team is investigating the incident.