Officer involved shooting ruled justified - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Officer involved shooting ruled justified

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The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office has determined police were justified when they shot and killed homicide suspect Jeremy Arnold. The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office has determined police were justified when they shot and killed homicide suspect Jeremy Arnold.
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office has determined three Spokane Police officers were justified in shooting and killing a homicide suspect who showed back up to the still-active crime scene to shoot it out with police. 


On April 29, 2014, police found the body of Tracy Fergerstrom in a home on N. Standard. While detectives were investigating the death, they identified Jeremy Arnold as a "person of interest" in the case. Not long after, Arnold showed back up to the crime scene, plowed through police barricades, got out of his truck with what appeared to be a handgun and pointed it at police. Arnold was shot and killed when three Spokane Police officers fired their weapons. 


Six months after the shooting, the Prosecutor's Office completed their investigation and announced on Monday that they believe it was justified. 


Deputy Prosecutor Driscoll stated of the case:


"The officers were justified in their use of deadly force. They were faced with an individual they knew was a suspect in a murder investigation, was considered to be armed and dangerous, whom they had just been told by Joel Chandler he [Arnold] had killed someone and this would be his last day on earth, when they were suddenly confronted with him crashing through the police barricades where they were conducting the homicide investigation he was suspected in, and then faced with him mere feet away, raising and pointing what appeared to be a handgun at officers, who had their weapons drawn, and had been ordering him to get out of the truck and get on the ground. The incident was caught on camera by a [news] media crew on scene and clearly shows Jeremy Arnold exiting and pointing what looks like a handgun at the police.

The officer clearly had a reasonable belief that they faced a “threat of serious physical harm” from a suspect they had probable cause to believe had committed a recent homicide. They acted without any “evil intent” and in a good faith belief that their actions were justified. Therefore, no criminal liability attaches and no charges will be filed."

Jeremy Arnold had a lengthy criminal history that included Robbery, Burglary, Assault and Witness Intimidation. The summer prior to his death, his wife died in an apparent accidental drowning on the Spokane River, and one week before the shooting, he was hailed as a hero after the boat he, his girlfriend and his daughter were on, capsized on Horseshoe Lake. The Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office said Arnold managed to get everyone to shore, then swam back across the lake to get help. 

The night before Fergerstrom was found stabbed to death, police were at the home to perform a welfare check for a different woman, the same one from the Horseshoe Lake incident. During that welfare check, Fergerstrom and Arnold were talking to police in the front yard, and less than 24 hours later, Fergerstrom would be found dead. Her body was wrapped in a quilt and police found bloody fingerprints on the bedroom door. There was also blood smeared throughout the home.

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