Officers identified in Spokane shooting that killed one man; shed light on alleged robbery that preceded the shooting

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August 6 – Four Spokane police officers and a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office detective were identified as those who opened fire and killed a man who barricaded himself in a van for hours in a stalemate with law enforcement officers east of downtown Spokane on Wednesday.

Officers Jacob Siegel, Scott Lesser and Robert Riggles, and Cpl. Brandon Lynch, are on administrative leave, which is standard practice after a shooting involving a cop, according to a press release from the Spokane Police Department.

Siegel joined the department in 2020 and is part of the tactical team, police said. Lesser has served with the Spokane Police Department since 2007 and is a member of the SWAT team, is an emergency medical technician, and a field training officer.

Hired by the agency in 2018, Riggles is part of the SWAT team and coordinator of the Field Training Officer program. Lynch has been with the department since 2013 and is a member of the police SWAT team and drone unit.

The sheriff’s office identified Det. Derek McNall as the only agency employee involved in the shooting. McNall started in the sheriff’s office in 2015 and worked as a patrol deputy, field training officer, SWAT team member and other roles until he was promoted to detective and assigned to the investigative department.

The Spokane Independent Investigative Response Team is investigating the shooting and the Washington State Patrol is leading the charge on the case, police said.

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Authorities claim the incident started when three men – Christopher B. Gooch, 42; Christopher A. Jones, 44; and Dominic A. Shears, listed as 39 on the Spokane County Superior Court website, committed an armed robbery of Scott Banchero and Jamie Morris early Wednesday morning at Oxford Suites hotel, 15015 E. Indiana Ave., in Spokane Valley, according to court documents.

After the alleged robbery, the three men fled in a van, according to a SIIR press release.

Shears dropped off Gooch and Jones on Second Avenue and Spokane Street, according to court documents. The two men ran away, but were apprehended by Spokane police detectives, who followed the van, court records said.

A detective said in documents that Jones had a bag containing a white powder substance resembling narcotics, and a package labeled “Scott Banchero”.

The driver crashed the van into a business on the corner of Sheridan Street and Third Avenue, the SIIR release said.

Spokane police units arrived at the scene of the accident and the van’s sole occupant, identified as Scissors in court documents, fired shots at the officers, the SIIR release said. Two officers responded with gunfire at about 1 a.m., and Shears barricaded himself in the van and was unharmed during the initial shooting, the release said. An officer at the scene was slightly injured by shrapnel.

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A stalemate ensued and multiple attempts were made to have Shears exit the van, according to the release. After a five-hour standoff, Shears came out with a gun. Responding officers and sheriff’s deputy fired at him and he died at the scene around 6 a.m

Gooch and Allen, both from Spokane, were arrested on suspicion of first degree theft and appeared in court for the first time on Thursday. They are scheduled for arraignment on Aug. 16 in the Spokane County Supreme Court. Gooch and Jones remained in the Spokane County Jail Friday night with $50,000 and $60,500 bonds, respectively.

According to court documents, Gooch told detectives that he and Jones had been friends for a long time and asked Jones for his help in collecting a debt. He said Jones asked Gooch to “roll” with him and look “tough”.

Gooch, Jones and an unidentified man, believed to be Shears, who was armed with a black semiautomatic pistol, knocked on Banchero’s door in Oxford Suites, documents say. A woman, presumably Morris, answered and Jones and Shears entered the room.

Gooch said he was going to grab Morris and then realized he wanted out of the situation, court records said. He then left the hotel and went to the van they had arrived in.

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Jones and the unidentified man were carrying unknown objects in their arms as they returned to the van, documents say.

All three left in the van and headed west to Spokane on Interstate 90. Gooch told the unknown man to let him out of the van, but the man responded by pointing a gun at him and telling him to be quiet. had to be.

Jones told detectives he was very drunk and couldn’t remember what had happened.

Meanwhile, Banchero, 58, of Kirkland, Washington, was charged with suspected possession with intent to disperse 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of Washington.

A criminal complaint alleged that Banchero was the victim of the Oxford Suites robbery after arriving from the Seattle area, the release said.

Authorities executed a search warrant at a Spokane warehouse leased to Banchero, where police found about 20,000 pills of fentanyl-laced, 2 pounds of methamphetamine, 1 kilogram of heroin and half a pound of cocaine.

The shooting case will be forwarded to the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office for review after the SIIR team completes its investigation, the sheriff’s office said.

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