Drug deal gone bad leads to chase, gunfire and arrests


SPOKANE, Wash. -Update: Investigators say a drug deal turned robbery is what led to two cars chasing each other through Spokane streets Tuesday evening.

Spokane Police were responding to the area of Hartson, west of Thor for a reported shooting call Tuesday. A caller stated two vehicles were shooting at each other. Seconds later another call came in blocks away of two vehicle chasing and crashing into each other. While police were driving to the scene, another call came in at Florida and Hartson of a vehicle that had crashed into a power pole. Witnesses stated that three people got out of the vehicles and took off running. Witnesses said an SUV was chasing and Honda and the Honda had crashed into the pole.

When officers arrived, witnesses confirmed that one of the men that had run from the vehicle had a handgun. Police used a K9 to attempt to track the men down. 

While waiting for the K9 to arrive, one witness came walking up to the scene and had one of the men with him. The witness watched the guy get out of the car and run away. The witness tracked him down and detained him. When officers searched the suspect, he was armed with a loaded handgun.

Spokane County Deputy Hilton and his K9 partner Bane arrived on scene and conducted a track from the vehicle going south through the houses and up steep terrain. This proved challenging due to not only the hilly area, but also near 100-degree temperatures. K9 Bane tracked down the two other people from the car and they were detained.

During this time, another witness followed the SUV that had fled the scene to a house in the 2100 block of East Mission. Officers responded there and detained the driver of the SUV, which had several bullet holes in it. 

Through the course of the investigation, officers learned that the occupants of the Honda were going to meet the occupants of the SUV to purchase marijuana. Sometime during the deal, one of the Honda's occupants pulled a gun and robbed the SUV of its marijuana. The Honda  took off and the SUV gave chase. During the chase, the person in the back seat of the Honda leaned out of the window and began shooting at the SUV, hitting it several times. The driver of the SUV then rammed his car into the Honda several times.

The two vehicles continued east down Hartson at high speeds. The Honda lost control, skidding off the road and shearing a power pole in half. Both vehicles were traveling at more than double the speed limit through a residential area. Officers noted that dozens of kids were playing in the area at the time. Luckily no civilians were hurt. 

Two of the people in the Honda were arrested for first degree armed robbery and first degree assault. They are both juveniles so police are not naming them. Police say there are a lot more potential charges that could come in the future, as the case is still under investigation. The driver of the SUV has not yet been charged, but may be in the future. 

Anyone with further information regarding this case should call Crime Check and reference case number 2018-20149433.

Previous coverage:

Police responded to  several calls of two cars chasing each other and exchanging gunfire on Spokane's lower South Hill Tuesday evening. 

Police say two cars were chasing each other and ramming each other as they drove down Hartson. One of the drivers took off on a high speed, lost control and struck a telephone pole near Hartson and Myrtle. Following the crash, three people bailed out of the car and ran away on foot. All three people were tracked down and detained.

Two of the suspects were detained by a police K9. The third was detained by a neighbor in the area, who held the suspect down until police arrived. That suspect was armed. 

The second vehicle involved drove away from the scene north. A witness followed that car to a driveway on E. Mission. Police were able to detain more suspects there.

Police are interviewing witnesses and the investigation continues. 

There is no word yet on what charges the suspect's are facing.

Police say there is no threat to the public. 

Avista is en route to repair the downed power pole. Avista says about 15 customers are without power as a result. 

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