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SWAT standoff with barricaded man at Knight's Inn ends peacefully

SWAT standoff with barricaded man at Knight's Inn ends peacefully

A 17-year-old murder suspect out of Walla Walla barricaded himself in a North Spokane motel room Tuesday night, triggering an hours-long standoff.

Carlos Valdez is wanted for First Degree Murder in the shooting death of 20-year-old Yesica Olivos. Her body was found Friday morning near an intersection in Walla Walla.

Four days later, the Walla Walla County Sheriff says a series of tips led them to the Knight's Inn Motel off Division and Houston in North Spokane. Around five o'clock Tuesday evening, believing Valdez was armed, Spokane Police, FBI, SWAT and State Patrol set up a perimeter and moved in on the suspect.

Valdez and three other people refused to leave the motel room. A negotiator was brought in and about three hours later, Valdez gave up and surrendered to police. He will be booked on charges of First Degree Murder and the three people with him will be charged with First Degree Rendering Criminal Assistance.

The Walla Walla County Sheriff says Valdez has gang ties but could not give a motive for the murder.

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Police investigating fourth pharmacy robbery in last three days

Police investigating fourth pharmacy robbery in last three days

For the fourth time in three days, Spokane police are investigating an armed robbery at a pharmacy.

The latest robbery happened around 1 p.m. at the Providence West Medical Building on West 5th Ave. Police say a white man in his mid 40's flashed a gun before taking off with prescription drugs. They are now checking surveillance cameras and dusting for finger prints.

Detectives are also looking to see if this robbery is connected with another string of pharmacy robberies carried out by a female suspect.

Police say they have ample video surveillance and tips from the public to give them a pretty good idea who is committing these robberies. They believe an arrest will be made soon.

All the evidence collected in the last robberies points to a woman caught on video robbing an Albertson's in Spokane. She didn't use a weapon but in one case she handed the clerk a note demanding oxycodone with a threat that if she didn't get it she would jump the counter and take it herself.

"Somebody striking so often indicates that she is very desperate I would imagine," said Spokane Police Captain Joe Walker.

Spokane school resource officers could be armed by spring

Spokane school resource officers could be armed by spring

A new year was supposed to bring a bold, new security plan involving arming resource officers in Spokane Public Schools, but making that plan a reality has hit some setbacks.

Shortly after the deadly Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, the Spokane school board approved a plan to arm the district's 14 resource officers, but the timeline to arm them has been pushed back and the district now admits it was initially "overly optimistic" in its plan to arm officers by January.

Making the plan a reality requires a number of moving parts and there are still details and agreements the district needs to figure out.

The plan called for 14 resource officers to be armed at several schools to help protect the nearly 29,000 students in the Spokane school district. The plan to arm the school's resource officers was approved but the implementation of the plan is taking time.

Jenny Rose, the president of the local teacher's union, is working with the district to hammer out a bargaining agreement.

Murder suspect accidentally shoots himself

Murder suspect accidentally shoots himself

Police say a Spokane murder suspect accidentally shot himself in the leg and nearly bled to death when he mistakenly thought he was getting pulled over by police in Pasco.

Detectives say they have probable cause to arrest 26-year-old Brandon Mellon for a fatal shooting in the 2200 block of North Astor Friday night.

Witnesses say they saw the gunman run up the stairs of the victim's apartment, fire the fatal shots and then leave the area.

Detectives then developed information that Mellon had threatened to have a shootout with officers rather than go back to jail. Mellon thought he was getting pulled over in the Tri-Cities and was trying to get his gun out of his pants when he shot himself in the leg and nearly bled to death.

He eventually ended up in a Portland hospital.

"We've been in contact with the Portland Bureau of Police and they will stand guard over him until we can work through extradition process," Spokane Police Captain Joe Walker said.

Detectives have asked prosecutors to charge Mellon with first degree murder however police don't want to arrest him right now because Spokane taxpayers would be responsible for his medical bills.

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Mild winter creates problems for snow plow owners

Mild winter creates problems for snow plow owners

While some people are rejoicing over Spokane's mild winter, others are hoping Mother Nature will lend them a hand.

Companies that rely on the snow are just barely scraping by.

"I've been doing it for 23 years, and this is probably the second driest I remember," said Bob Landaker, General Manager of Four Seasons Landscaping.

In the winter, Four Seasons relies on snow plowing and ice melt to keep business afloat. But the lack of snow flat out hurts their bottom line.

"It's less money in the company's pocket as well as the employee, so it affects both sides of it," Landaker said.

In a typical winter, Landaker says his plows would have already been out about six to seven times. But this winter the plows have only been out once. That's about an 80 percent drop from last year.

In November, Spokane picked up about three inches snow. The average for that month is seven.

December was even worse, with Spokane seeing less than four inches. The normal amount is nearly 15.

This winter is the third driest on record for Spokane.

Landaker hopes late nights and snowy roads are in his future.

Police develop probable cause to arrest suspect in N. Astor homicide

Police develop probable cause to arrest suspect in N. Astor homicide

Spokane Police Major Crimes detectives have developed probable cause to arrest 26-year-old Brandon Mellon for a fatal shooting Friday night at an apartment in the 2200 block of North Astor.

Detectives will be requesting a charge of 1st Degree Murder from the Spokane County Prosecutor.

After detectives interviewed witnesses and followed up on other leads, Mellon became a person of interest in the homicide that occurred on January 3 at 2228 N. Astor.

Through inter-agency collaboration, detectives developed information that Mellon was at a motel in Pasco, WA and had accidentally shot himself in the leg. A gun was recovered at the scene. Mellon was transported to a hospital in Portland, OR with critical injuries and is being treated for those injuries under supervision. Once detectives receive a warrant, they will begin work on the extradition process and officially place Mellon under arrest.

The identity of the homicide victim and the official cause of death will be released by the Spokane County Medical Examiner.

Police investigate fatal shooting at north Spokane apartment complex

A man was shot dead in a north Spokane apartment at 2228 North Astor Saturday night. His killer is still on the run.

Police responded to a shots fired call on the dark street, to find a man shot dead inside of an upstairs apartment.

"We're in the process of trying to identify possible suspects. Some people in the apartment have been taken down for interviewing by major crimes," SPD's Lt. Dean Sprague said at the scene.

One of those people told us off-camera the victim's first name is Arnold. The same friend claims Arnold was in the apartment with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting. Neighbors say they heard gunshots and a woman screaming, followed by footsteps towards the exit. The friend says Arnold didn't live at the apartment but stayed in there from time to time.

Police don't think this was a random shooting.