SIRR Team Activated for In-Custody Death

Ofc. Teresa Fuller, 509.835.4568,

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 12:21 p.m.

The critical incident protocol has been invoked and the Spokane Investigative Regional Response (SIRR) Team is investigating an in-custody death that occurred this morning. Officers from the Spokane Police Department arrested the suspect this morning after being called to the 5400 block of N. Addison for a domestic violence call where the suspect was allegedly armed with a rifle. The suspect was transported to jail and later suffered a medical emergency. He immediately received life-saving medical attention, but later died at a local hospital.

Today, 05/13/2015, just before 6:00am, patrol officers from SPD responded to the 5400 block of N. Addison on the report of domestic violence. Information from the complainant was that a female and male were arguing and the male had possibly hidden a gun on the side of the residence. Officers were able to determine there was a domestic violence no-contact order in place and the suspect was in violation of that order. The order made it illegal for him to possess firearms. Officers took the suspect into custody without incident and located a firearm at the residence. They also noted that the suspect appeared to be “high”. He was talking with officers prior to the transport and admitted to “drinking something”.

The suspect was transported to Spokane County Jail to be booked for Unlawful Possession of Firearm and Felony Violation of a Domestic Violence No Contact Order, which under Washington law is a mandatory booking. While in route to jail, he began kicking on the back of the patrol car. Officers notified jail staff to prepare for an uncooperative male. Jail staff met the patrol car in the sally port, where the suspect was uncooperative. Jail staff escorted the suspect, still handcuffed, into the booking area. Because he continued to be uncooperative, jail staff prepared to place him in a restraint chair to keep him from hurting himself or others. During that process, he had a medical emergency.

Resuscitation efforts were started immediately by correction officers. Jail medical staff and Spokane City Fire medics were called to assist. At the time he was transported to the hospital, the suspect did have a pulse. Later, at the hospital, he was declared deceased.

This is preliminary information based on initial reports of the incident.

This is an ongoing investigation.

This continues to be an active and ongoing investigation. SIRR Team detectives will continue to process evidence, including video from the jail, interview witnesses and interview all the officers involved with this incident.

The SIRR Team is comprised of multiple agencies in Eastern Washington, including the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, Spokane Police Department, and Airway Heights Police Department.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner will release the name of the deceased individual as well as the official cause of death.

The Washington State Patrol is the managing agency in this incident. All future communications on this incident will be sent via the SIRR Team. Once the SIRR Team investigation is complete, the case will be forwarded to the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

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