Cpl. Ronald Van Tassel
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 3:10 p.m.
Spokane Police respond to a reported armed male at the Monroe Street Bridge threatening suicide. A large Police response resulted in the bridge and numerous roads being closed in the area. After negotiations, the male was detained and transported to a hospital for help.
On Wednesday May 9th, just before 2 p.m., Spokane Police received a call at the Monroe Bridge reference a male holding a gun to his head. The male was located under the bridge and was holding the gun to his head when Officers arrived.
Businesses and citizens in the area saw a large Police response. This was done to ensure the safety of everybody in the area. There is a walking trail feet from where the male was at that had to be shut down from foot traffic so a random person did not encounter the male. In case the male went mobile, the Monroe Street Bridge had to be shut down completely.
Several Officers on scene talked with the male for almost 30 minutes, during which time the male still had the gun pressed against his head. Officers set up contingency plans which included less lethal and diversion tools.
The male eventually put the gun on the ground and walked out to waiting Officers. The male was transported by ambulance to the Hospital for mental health treatment. The gun itself turned out to be a realistic looking airsoft gun, which you could not tell until you stood right next to it and handled it.
Due to the nature of the call and this being a non-criminal investigation, the male is not being named by Spokane Police. We generally do not make suicidal calls a public matter for obvious reasons. However, this call shut down a large area and had a massive traffic diversion and we received many comments, questions and rumors to what was going on.