SPD arrests suspect after house set on fire

Ofc. Daniel Strassenberg, PIO

Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 2:19 p.m.

On 1-24-24 shortly before 10 p.m., Spokane Police officers responded to the 2600 block of East Desmet on a report of a structure fire. When officers arrived, the home was totally engulfed in flames. There were a number of people in the house when the fire started, all got out safely but several animals perished. After interviewing the people at the home, it was determined that one of them (later identified as Rodney Barnhill) had purposely set a fire inside the home after an argument with a female at the location. Barnhill left the residence before officers arrived. Shortly after another fire was reported in the area, but it remains unclear if it was related.

Officers were able to develop probable cause to arrest Barnhill for arson and a court order violation. Police searched the area and Barnhill was found hiding a few blocks away. He was very uncooperative with officers and at one point held a knife to his neck threatening to hurt himself. Barnhill also made statements in an effort to provoke officers to shoot him. Officers negotiated with Barnhill for more than a half hour and he finally surrendered with no force being used during the arrest. Rodney D. Barnhill (42) was arrested for 1st degree arson and a court order violation and booked in to the Spokane County Jail.

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