Failed 'Suicide By Cop' Attempt In Spokane Valley - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Failed 'Suicide By Cop' Attempt In Spokane Valley

Spokane Valley Police Press Release:

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A Spokane Valley man narrowly avoided serious injury or death last Thursday when he aimed a starter pistol at police who did not shoot him because his wife was in the line of fire.

William Thomas Laroque, 28, was arrested for felony Harassment – Threat to Kill after he threw down the pistol and a knife he had secreted in his waistband.

Police went to Laroque's home in the 5300 block of East Eighth shortly after midnight Thursday when his wife reported to 911 that he had slapped her during an argument.  When Officer Jeremy Howe arrived, Laroque had fled and there was no physical evidence to support her claim of an assault.

The wife called 911 again about 3:10 a.m. and said he had returned and was refusing to leave.  Sgts. Don Manning and Matt Smith were first to arrive and walked to the front of the property in the dark.

The couple was waiting for police outside the front door, and when Laroque spotted the two officers, he stated, "Well hello officers" and began calmly walking toward them.  When he was about 30 feet away, he pulled what appeared to be a pistol from his pants and aimed it in a two-handed stance at Sgt. Smith.

The two officers drew their own pistols, but realized Laroque's wife was behind him and in the line of fire.  When Smith began moving to the side to clear his field of fire, the suspect moved as well, continuing to aim at Smith and countering the sergeant's attempts to eliminate the wife from the field of fire.

Both sergeants began giving Laroque orders to drop the pistol and after several seconds, he dropped the gun and then tossed the heretofore unseen knife on the driveway as well.

He heeded orders to get on the ground and was quickly handcuffed and searched.   The two determined the gun he had aimed at them was actually a starter's pistol. 

During the several-second standoff, the wife was yelling at the two officers, "it's a fake, it's a fake," referring the starter pistol.  She later told them she was unaware that Laroque had armed himself, and thanked Smith and Manning for not shooting him.

 

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