SPOKANE, Wash. – The man police shot and killed on Spokane's lower South Hill on Monday left a suicide note before his death. Detectives recovered the note while searching the van on Wednesday, they did not disclose the contents of the note.
Officers responded to a report of a suicidal man on Monday evening. Officers found James Rogers in the parking lot of his employer, but Rogers drove a van around their barricade before crashing about two blocks away.
Police negotiated with Rogers before two hours before shooting him six times.
The officer who fired those shots was identified on Wednesday as Dan Lesser, a member of the SWAT team with 16 years of experience with the Spokane Police Department.
Officer Lesser has received at least two "Lifesaving Awards" from the Spokane Police Department including one as recently as this year.
Officer Lesser saved a stabbing victim in June 0f 2010. He was given a "Lifesaving Award" in February of 2011.
He was commended with the same award in 2008 for saving a heart attack victim while off duty.
Monday's incident is not the first officer involved shooting for the veteran SWAT team member. Officer Dan Lesser was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing for his role in a shooting in 2009.
Officer Lesser and his K9 partner were chasing a convicted criminal who was accused of stealing a car.
The suspect shot the K9 named Var, and Lesser returned fire, killing the suspect near the intersection of Division and Longfellow in 2009.
Detectives from the Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team continue to investigate Lesser's role in Monday's shooting.
A news release says James Rogers waved his hand at Officer Lesser and pointed a shotgun at the SWAT team member. Officer Lesser feared for his own safety and returned fire, according to the release.
James Rogers called his parents on Monday afternoon to say tell them he was going to kill himself.
Rogers was concerned about possibly losing his job, according to family member who cited several reasons and said Rogers was battling depression.
He served jail time for an incident in Whitman County in 2010. He told family members he did not want to return to prison, but he was recently arrested for allegedly driving under the influence.
KHQ Local News Reporters Anthony Gomes and Chelsea Kopta filed this report.