Stand Off Ends Peacefully

Sgt. Terry Preuninger, PIO

Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 8:34 a.m.

A Stand Off in the 500 block of W 23rd ends peaceably when and armed man surrenders to the Spokane Police SWAT Team.

Wednesday, May 20, around 6:15 PM the Spokane Police Department received a 911 call from a man in a home in the 500 block of W 23rd, stating his adult son was threatening him with a knife. The caller stated his son was high on methamphetamine, naked, out of control and his son had put the knife to the caller’s neck  Police responded and the caller was able to get out of the residence to safety, where he was contacted by police and confirmed the events of the 911 call. 

The caller’s son, identified as 34 year old Eric S. Johnson, remained in the home and would not acknowledge officers attempts to contact him. 

Probable cause existed to charge Johnson with 2nd degree assault and a search warrant was obtained for the residence. Johnson has a criminal history which includes crimes of violence. SPD Patrol requested the assistance of the City SWAT team who responded along with the Hostage Negotiation team and elements of the Explosive Disposal Unit.  

The police continued to attempt to make contact with Johnson attempting to de-escalate the situation.  Eventually cameras were inserted into the residence and Johnson was located.   He was still armed with knife, still naked and very agitated.  Once he could tell police were in the home he began to throw items at the officers. SPD Hostage Negotiators continued to attempt to talk with him to calm him down but he would not comply and remained agitated. At one point Johnson damaged a police robot being used to observe him. Hours into the standoff with no successful attempts at verbal de-escalation the SWAT team put a non-chemical irritant into the residence. In less than a minute Johnson put the knife down, calmly complied with the officers instructions and was taken into custody without incident. 

The investigation is continuing and Police will be at the location serving the search warrant for some time.    

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