Rockwood murder-suicide: Police had contact with shooter in May - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Rockwood murder-suicide: Police had contact with shooter in May

Posted: Updated:
  • Also on KHQ.comMore>>

  • Leaders ask community to focus on mental health after shooting

    Leaders ask community to focus on mental health after shooting

    Thursday, July 10 2014 10:29 PM EDT2014-07-11 02:29:26 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - 48 hours after the tragic shooting at Deaconess Hospital, Spokane authorities are asking the community to turn its focus toward mental health. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - 48 hours after the tragic shooting at Deaconess Hospital, Spokane authorities are asking the community to turn its focus toward mental health. At a press conference yesterday, Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub asked Spokane residents to support funding for mental health programs and more advanced training in crisis intervention for his officers.>>
  • Rockwood murder-suicide: Shooter previously made threats to kill wife

    Rockwood murder-suicide: Shooter previously made threats to kill wife

    Thursday, July 10 2014 4:20 PM EDT2014-07-10 20:20:17 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash- According to a law enforcement source, Spokane Valley deputies contacted Chris Henderson on Monday, the day before Tuesday's murder-suicide. KHQ confirmed employees of the West Corporation called 911 Monday to report their fellow employee Chris Henderson was making threats to kill his wife and being unruly.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash- According to a law enforcement source, Spokane Valley deputies contacted Chris Henderson on Monday, the day before Tuesday's murder-suicide. KHQ confirmed employees of the West Corporation called 911 Monday to report their fellow employee Chris Henderson was making threats to kill his wife and being unruly.>>
SPOKANE, Wash. - On Wednesday, Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and representatives from the YWCA held a press conference addressing mental health and domestic violence issues, including Tuesday's murder-suicide at Rockwood Cancer Treatment Center. 

On Tuesday, Christopher Henderson walked into the 7th floor of the Rockwood Cancer Treatment Center and fatally shot his wife Sheena. Christopher then shot himself in the head and was pronounced dead later in the emergency room.

At the press conference on Wednesday, Chief Straub talked about one incident back in May where Christopher Henderson had contact with police after his wife called and said he was suicidal. Straub said Sheena told police her husband had threatened to commit suicide or "suicide by cop" and then left the house with a gun. 

Officers eventually found Christopher, who was armed with a gun, inside a parked car. Officers were able to get Henderson to surrender his gun and give up. He was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center for a mental health evaluation and the gun was confiscated. 

Straub also said on Monday, the day before the shooting at Rockwood, that gun was released to Henderson. It is unknown if that gun was the one Henderson used in the shooting.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich also acknowledged that his deputies had contact with Henderson on Monday at his place of work after employees called to say he was being unruly and was going to harm himself. An employee told KHQ Henderson was talking about killing his wife and himself. Knezovich said in the press conference that his deputies spoke with Henderson and he appeared calm, and even told them he wanted to live for his kids. He was not taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation. The next day he walked into his wife's place of work and shot her, then shot himself. 

KHQ live streamed the entire press conference and we will post that shortly to this story. Below is Chief Frank Straub's statement in its entirety. 

Good afternoon. I am joined today by Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, Staci Cornwell with Spokane Mental Health, Chauntelle Bryant with the Spokane YWCA, Christen Kishel, the Spokane Police Department Psychologist and member of the Mental Health Steering Committee, and Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer with the Spokane Fire Department.

Yesterday’s tragic incident clearly demonstrates the need for our community to work together to address the challenges posed by domestic violence and mental health issues.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Henderson children and their families.

The Spokane Police Department is committed to training all of our officers in Crisis Intervention methods and assisting those in mental health crisis.

- Currently, 95% of all SPD officers are certified in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) methods.

- SPD is exploring opportunities to provide Advanced CIT training to a cadre of officers as well as deploying officers and mental health practitioner teams to respond to incidents involving persons in mental health crisis.

- SPD meets monthly with mental health professionals to enhance our ability to respond to calls involving persons in mental health crisis.

- Our officers are working closely with the YWCA to assist victims of domestic violence and connect these victims to services.

Yesterday’s incident is not the first interaction between the Spokane Police Department and Christopher P. Henderson.

On May 16, 2014, at approximately 4:00 pm, Spokane Police received a call from the victim in yesterday’s murder/suicide, Sheena Henderson. She reported that her husband, Christopher Henderson, was suicidal, had threatened to commit suicide or “suicide by cop”, had left the home, and had a gun.

Mrs. Henderson told officers where she believed Mr. Henderson might be. Officers responded to this location and found Christopher Henderson in his parked vehicle. Officers contacted Mr. Henderson, who was armed with a firearm. Officers convinced him to exit his vehicle, and to surrender his firearm.

Mr. Henderson was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center for mental health evaluation and treatment. The firearm was booked into the regional property evidence facility.

The firearm was released to Mr. Henderson on July 7, 2014, after all records checks were completed and a waiver releasing the firearm was received from the Department of Health and Social Services on June 19, 2014.

We, as a community must come together to:

- Invest in services to assist victims of domestic violence.

- Invest in services to aid those challenged by mental illness.

- Continue to train all law enforcement officers in crisis intervention methods.

- Create and implement a police-mental health practitioner response team with Advanced CIT training.

- Continue collaboration between law enforcement, mental health, domestic violence advocates, and the broader community to prevent future tragedies.


  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:00:12 GMT
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>>>
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>>>
  • One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:02:36 GMT
    KHQ.COM - One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am on Tuesday. At this point police do not have a suspect description but are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.>>
    KHQ.COM - One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am on Tuesday. At this point police do not have a suspect description but are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.>>
  • TRENDING: Jennifer Lawrence requests nude pics investigation

    TRENDING: Jennifer Lawrence requests nude pics investigation

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:50:31 GMT
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A publicist for Jennifer Lawrence says the actress has contacted authorities after nude photos of her were apparently stolen and posted online. Intimate images of the Oscar winning actress began appearing online on Sunday and nude images purported to be of other female celebrities were also being circulated online.>>
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A publicist for Jennifer Lawrence says the actress has contacted authorities after nude photos of her were apparently stolen and posted online. Intimate images of the Oscar winning actress began appearing online on Sunday and nude images purported to be of other female celebrities were also being circulated online.
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Capone murder trial underway in Moscow

    Capone murder trial underway in Moscow

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:07 PM EDT2014-09-02 19:07:02 GMT
    MOSCOW, Idaho - The long awaited murder trial of Charles Capone began in Moscow, Idaho on Tuesday. Capone is accused of murdering his estranged ex-wife, Racheal Anderson, 4 years ago. >>
    MOSCOW, Idaho - The long awaited murder trial of Charles Capone began in Moscow, Idaho on Tuesday. Capone is accused of murdering his estranged ex-wife, Racheal Anderson, 4 years ago. Anderson's body has never been found. Detectives say Capone and a friend, David Stone made a pact to kill each other's wives.>>
  • EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mother remembers Gracie Snider

    EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mother remembers Gracie Snider

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-09-02 19:00:41 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Two little girls, best buddies, spent the day playing soccer at a central Washington tournament in May. Gracie Snider and Ayla James were riding back from the game, laughing and talking like friends do.But just a few miles east of Ritzville on i-90 on May 3rd, the vehicle the girls were in hit a semi truck. Gracie didn't make it and Ayla was seriously hurt.>>
    KHQ.COM - Two little girls, best buddies, spent the day playing soccer at a central Washington tournament in May. Gracie Snider and Ayla James were riding back from the game, laughing and talking like friends do.But just a few miles east of Ritzville on i-90 on May 3rd, the vehicle the girls were in hit a semi truck. Gracie didn't make it and Ayla was seriously hurt.
    >>
  • Video released by ISIS shows beheading of US journalist

    Video released by ISIS shows beheading of US journalist

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:14 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:14:48 GMT
    BEIRUT (AP) - An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group. >>
    BEIRUT (AP) - An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group. Sotloff, who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, had last been seen in Syrian in August 2013 until he appeared in a video released online last month by the Islamic State group that showed the beheading of fellow American journalist James Foley.>>