Cpl. Ronald Van Tassel
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 6:27 p.m.
Spokane Police responded to the area of Hartson and Thor for a possible shooting call involving two vehicles. While enroute to that location, another call stated that a vehicle just crashed into a pole at Hartson and Florida and people were running from the vehicle. Officers later located and arrested several people for a variety of crimes.
On July 31, 2018 the Spokane Police Department was responding to the area of Hartson, west of Thor for a shooting. A caller stated that two vehicles were shooting at each other. Seconds later another call came in blocks away of two vehicles chasing and crashing into each other. While Police were driving to that scene another call came in at Florida and Hartson of a vehicle that crashed into a power pole. Witnesses stated that three males got out of the vehicle and took off running. Witnesses stated that an SUV was chasing a Honda and that the Honda crashed into the pole.
When Officers arrived witnesses confirmed that one of the males ran from the vehicle and he had a handgun in his hands. Due to the obvious dangers of the call, Police used a K-9 to attempt to track for the occupants.
While waiting for the K-9 to arrive, one witness came walking up to the scene and had one of the occupants with him. The witness watched the male exit the vehicle and flee, the witness tracked him down and was able to detain him with minimal force. When Officers searched the male, he was armed with a loaded handgun.
Deputy Hilton with Spokane County arrived with his K-9 partner Bane. They conducted a track from the vehicle going south through the houses and straight up steep terrain. This produced challenging due to not only the hilly area, but also the near 100 degree temperatures. After tracking through the area, Bane was able to locate the other two occupants of the vehicle and they were both detained.
During this time another witness followed the SUV that had fled the scene to a residence in the 2100 block of east Mission. Officers responded there and detained the driver of that vehicle, which did have several bullet holes in it.
Through the course of the investigation Officers learned that the occupants of the Honda were going to meet the occupants of the SUV to purchase Marijuana. Sometime during the drug deal, one of the Honda’s occupants pulled out a gun and robbed the SUV of its Marijuana. The Honda fled the scene on Hartson and the SUV gave chase. During the chase the rear occupant of the Honda leaned out the window and began shooting at the SUV, striking it several times. The driver of the SUV then rammed his car into the Honda several time.
The two vehicles continued east down Hartson at high speeds, which is a residential neighborhood. The Honda lost control, skidding off the roadway and shearing a power pole in half.
Due to the time of day this whole incident was witnessed by numerous people. It is amazing that nobody in this community was hit by bullets or by either one of these vehicles. Both vehicles had complete and absolute disregard for the safety of everybody in this community by not only the gunfire, but their careless driving. Both vehicle were traveling at more than double the speed limit through neighborhood streets. While onscene Officers took note of the dozens of kids who were out playing in the area. We are extremely lucky and grateful that no innocent bystanders were hurt.
Two of the occupants of the Honda were arrested for 1st degree armed Robber and for 1st degree assault. They are both juveniles so we are not naming them at this point. There are a lot more potential charges that could also come in the future in this case and it is still being investigated at this time. The driver of the SUV is not being charged as of tonight, but still may be in the future. There is nobody outstanding in this incident and not further threat to the community.
If anybody has further information regarding this case, please call crime check at 456-2233 and reference case number 2018-20149433.
Officer John O'Brien