Spokane County Sheriff's deputies arrested a convicted felon who witnesses say robbed a gas station with a butcher knife, got into a verbal altercation with the owner, fired a handgun, hit a dog and then kicked a woman in the stomach and stole her knife.
Monday night, an employee at an Exxon gas station on Highway 395 told deputies 31-year-old Burk T. Simonson, a regular at the gas station, walked up to him, put his hand on the employee's should and said, "I'm here to rob you."
The employee thought he was joking, but noticed a large butcher knife in Simonson's waistband. The employee then began helping other customers and noticed Simonson was now in the parking lot putting oil in a white Jeep he was driving. The employee noticed two quarts of the same brand of oil was missing from the store's shelves.
The employee then went out to confront Simonson about the oil, but Simonson jumped in the Jeep, flipped him off and drove away, according to deputies. The employee says Simonson stopped a short distance away, got out of the Jeep and began threatening him again.
While at the gas station taking the report, Spokane County Deputy Kravtsov heard an emergency broadcast over his radio of a "person with a weapon" nearby on W. Bridges Road. The call stated the suspect, who was driving a white Jeep, had fired a gun.
Deputies arrived on scene and safely took Simonson into custody.
So what happened?
According to witnesses, after taking the oil, Simonson drove to the home on W. Bridges road where he has been staying. He was confronted by some people due to his reckless driving and an argument ensued. Witnesses say Simonson then walked into the home, grabbed the homeowner's handgun and then back outside. Witnesses say he began shouting for them to leave and fired the gun, though they do not believe he was trying to actually shoot anyone.
After hearing the shot, the homeowner came out, grabbed the gun and took it back inside to a secure location.
A neighbor watching all of this unfold saw Simonson grab a dog by the neck and begin to hit it. The neighbor walked over to Simonson and told him to leave the dog alone. She told Simonson she was armed with a knife she kept in a sheath. She says Simonson then ran toward her, kicked her in the stomach, pushed her down and took the knife. Witnesses say Simonson then gave the knife to the homeowner.
Deputies arrived and say Simonson obeyed their commands and was taken into custody without incident.
Deputies say Simonson is a convicted felon and is prohibited from possessing firearms. He was taken to jail and charged with 1st Degree Robbery, 1st Degree Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Assault in the 4th Degree, and Unlawful Aiming/Discharging of a Firearm.
Deputies say no one was seriously injured in the incident, however the woman who was kicked and pushed to the ground did receive medical treatment.
(story: KHQ.com; image: Spokane County Sheriff's Office)