Convicted Felon Fires Weapon During AltercationÂ
Spokane County Sheriffâ€™s Office Deputies arrested 31-year-old Burk T. Simonson, a convicted felon, for Robbery 1st Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 1st Degree, Assault 4th Degree and Unlawful Aiming/Discharging of a Firearm.
On June 5, 2017, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Spokane County Sheriffâ€™s Deputy Stan Kravtsov responded to a theft/threat call at the Exxon gas station located at 23320 N. Highway 395 in North Spokane County.
The employee told Deputy Kravtsov a frequent customer entered the store, walked up to him, placed his hand on the employeeâ€™s shoulder and said â€œIâ€™m here to rob you.â€Â The employee thought the suspect, later identified as Simonson, was joking but noticed a large â€œbutcher knifeâ€ in Simonsonâ€™s waistband and backed away.Â He began helping other customers but noticed Simonson was in the parking lot putting oil in the older white Jeep he arrived at the store in.Â He said the oil cans were the same brand they sold and noticed two cans were missing from the previously full store shelves.
He went out and confronted Simonson, who jumped in the Jeep, cursed at him while giving a one finger hand gesture and drove away.Â Simonson stopped a short distance away, exited the Jeep and began cussing and threatening the employee before driving away again.
While at the store, Deputy Kravtsov heard an emergency broadcast over his radio of a â€œperson with a weaponâ€ near the 500 block of W. Bridges Rd. involving an older white Jeep and a suspect who fired a handgun.
Several deputies responded to the Bridges location where Simonson was later safely taken into custody.
After talking to several witnesses, including an adult female victim who had been assaulted, deputies believe after taking the oil from the gas station, Simonson drove to a residence at the Bridges location where heâ€™s been staying.Â He was confronted by some individuals due to his reckless driving and they began yelling at each other.Â Simonson walked into the residence, retrieved the owner of the homeâ€™s handgun and walked back outside.Â He began shouting for the individuals to leave and fired the handgun one time.Â Witnesses stated they did not believe Simonson was attempting to actually shoot anyone but appeared to fire as a warning.Â After hearing the shot, the home/firearm owner exited the residence and took the pistol from Simonson and a secured it in a safe.
A neighbor who was watching the situation unfold noticed Simonson begin hitting and grabbing a dog by the neck.Â She walked toward Simonson and told him to leave the dog alone.Â She also warned him she was armed with a knife she kept in a sheath on her belt.Â Simonson ran toward her, kicked her in the lower abdomen, pushed her to the ground and took the knife from her hip.Â Simonson walked back toward his residence, handed the knife to the homeowner who had come back outside after securing the pistol and went inside.
When instructed by deputies, Simonson exited the residence, followed commands and was taken into custody.
A check of Simonsonâ€™s criminal history revealed he was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms.
Simonson was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Robbery 1st Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 1st Degree, Assault 4th Degree and Unlawful Aiming/Discharging of a Firearm.
Thankfully, no one was seriously injured during this incident although the female victim who was kicked and thrown to the ground did receive medical treatment.
Deputy Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer