Bond set at $200K for suspect in downtown Spokane shooting

The man suspected of shooting a 15-year-old boy in downtown Spokane made his first appearance in court Thursday.

27-year-old Joel C. Taitch's bond was set at $200,000 during a hearing in Spokane.

Newly released court documents are giving a better idea of what exactly led up to the shooting at Washington and Main. Court documents say a group of friends including the victim went downtown and met up with Taitch, who attempted to sell them a marijuana pipe for $5. An argument broke out when Taitch gave one of the people in the group the pipe to look over and that person refused to give the pipe back. That's when Taitch reached toward his back like he had a weapon. 

The group of young people began chasing after Taitch according to the documents. The group chased Taitch and another man he was with east on Sprague where they stopped around Howard and Riverside when Taitch showed a gun. 

According to a witness statement, a short time later, two younger kids thought to be about 9 or 10 years old came up to the victim and the witness and said Taitch had threatened them with a gun. That's when the victim became mad and began running back toward Taitch and the other man. The witness told officers that he ran after the victim. When they reached the area of Riverside and Washington, they began running north toward Riverfront Park.

According to court documents, witnesses told police that's when Taitch turned and fired the gun at the victim, hitting him in the neck. The witness told police it appeared Taitch was waiting for the victim, hiding behind a car. 

The suspect ran away on foot after the shooting happened. Two of the victim's friend kept chasing after him. 

Another witness interviewed by police told them he lived in the Park Tower Apartments on Spokane Falls Blvd and that the suspect had gotten into the building. Documents say Taitch's mother lives in the apartment building and was out to dinner at the time of the shooting. She told police Taitch owns a .22 caliber pistol given to him by his deceased father. 

Responding officers interviewed witnesses and tracked Taitch to the Park Tower Apartments building. Taitch was eventually taken into custody on the 17th floor of the building. 

Investigators processed the scene of the shooting and recovered .22 caliber cartridge casings as well as surveillance video from in front of the building where the shooting happened. With the help of video surveillance, and a driver's license photograph, police were able to positively identify the suspect as Taitch. 

Police got a search warrant for the apartment where Taitch was taken into custody. A search of the apartment found clothes belonging to Taitch, a .22 caliber handgun, and a back pack with paperwork inside belonging to Taitch. 

Documents say they also found a note addressed to Taitch's mom, that had details of the shooting, including, "I shot him twice while running away," according to the documents. 

Taitch was booked into jail Wednesday night and charged with 2nd degree murder.