SPD responds to shoplifting call, suspect pulls loaded gun on officers

Julie Humphreys Public Safety Communication Manager

Wednesday, July 3, 2024 at 12:48 p.m.

On 6/28/24 about 9:15pm, SPD patrol officers responded to a suspicious vehicle call in the 5800 block of N. Division St. Employees at a retail store at the location reported the vehicle and it’s possible relation to a group of people involved in shoplifting in the store. Officers walked through the store and located a male holding clothing items who appeared to be looking for an opportunity to run out of the store. Officers were able to identify the male and discovered he had a warrant out for his arrest. They approached him and he immediately reached for his front waist area and pulled out a pistol. Officers tried to control the suspect’s arms and get the pistol from him due to the extreme danger to themselves and others in the store. The officers and the suspect wrestled and fought as the suspect maintained his grip on the pistol, despite officers explaining they would have to use their weapons on him if he didn’t drop his. The fight continued to behind the store registers where officers were finally able to get control of the suspect and take the pistol away from him. The gun was loaded and the suspect also had approximately 50 fentanyl pills and a baggie of powdered drugs in his possession.

This was an extremely volatile situation which started over shoplifting and highlights the dangers our police officers face every day even in responding to seemingly lower level crimes. Thankfully, the officers were not fired upon and were able to gain control over a combative, non-compliant armed suspect.

Jesse S. Johnson (38) was booked into the Spokane County Jail on two counts of 1st Degree Assault, 1st Degree Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Resisting Arrest. He is being held on more than a million dollar bond ($1,015,000).  Johnson has a lengthy list of prior felony convictions including; Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Attempt to Elude, Vehicular Assault, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, 2nd Degree Assault, 1st Degree Theft, and Taking a Motor Vehicle without Permission.

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Julie Humphreys