SPD Officer Identified In Deadly Officer-Involved Shooting
SPOKANE, Wash. - SIRR detectives from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, Spokane Police Department and Washington State Patrol met Thursday morning to discuss progress in the investigation of Monday night's officer-involved shooting.
Most officer and citizen interviews have been conducted, and investigators released some new information regarding the incident.
Decedent James Edward Rogers had been making suicidal statements for several hours before he drove his father's van to his workplace at 811 S. Hatch. At the business, SL Start, he called from the parking lot and spoke with a co-worker.
She called 911 to report he was making suicidal statements, was armed and had fired a shot in the parking lot. A sheriff's K-9 team later recovered a spent shotgun wad from the area where Rogers had been parked.
Spokane Police began responding to the "suicide attempt" call, but when they arrived and tried to contain Rogers, he drove the van across a lawn and around them. He tipped the van on its side at Seventh and Hatch where officers saw him hanging from the driver's seat, still manipulating the shotgun.
Officers began organizing to prevent Rogers' escape into the neighborhood, but their efforts were complicated by the need to evacuate nearby residents and other citizens from within range of the armed suspect.
A nearby medical facility had patients requiring transport out of the area, and they required police escorts through the outside perimeter of the crime scene. Meanwhile, Rogers had dropped from his seat and was seen seated inside the van, still holding the shotgun.
The SPD SWAT team was summoned and two armored vehicles were brought in to provide cover for officers and negotiators. SPD SWAT member Dan Lesser took up a position on top of one armored vehicle where he could see Rogers through the rear window of the overturned van.
Negotiators spoke with Rogers for about two hours. However, at about 8:23 p.m., Rogers waved his hand at Lesser and then raised the shotgun and pointed it at him.
Fearing for his own safety, Lesser fired his rifle at Rogers.
Rogers was struck by bullets and killed. His shotgun was recovered by investigators that night. Detectives Wednesday executed a search warrant on the van and recovered three unfired shotgun slugs, a type of shell that has a single ball of lead rather than multiple smaller pellets.
They also recovered a suicide note from inside the van.
Detectives learned that Rogers had recently been arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol and had a court appearance scheduled for last Monday afternoon. He did not make that appearance and a warrant for Failure to Appear was subsequently issued.
Investigation into the incident continues. Detectives again asked that anyone with information call Crime Check if they have not already been contacted for an interview.
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