Suspect Successfully Taken into Custody after 4.5 Hour Standoff

“Suspect Successfully Taken into Custody after 4.5 Hour Standoff

On February 8th, 2015, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team members successfully ended a 4.5 hour standoff with the arrest of 34-year-old Christopher L. Ferrell, a suspect from an earlier domestic violence situation.

This incident started earlier in the morning, just prior to 2:30 a.m., when Spokane Valley Sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported domestic violence call in the 17200 block of East 5th Avenue in Spokane Valley.

Ferrell left the residence prior to the deputies’ arrival but during the investigation, they established probable cause to arrest Ferrell for felony Assault 2nd (DV) and Malicious Mischief 3rd (DV), a misdemeanor. A perimeter was established and a K9 searched the area for Ferrell but he was not located. Deputies were told Ferrell has been using methamphetamine and members of his family were concerned for their safety and his due to his altered behavior.

While checking for Ferrell at a residence in the 17400 block of East 5th Avenue, Deputy Kullman, Deputy Bohanek and Deputy Karnitz contacted a male, identified as 37-year-old Juan M. Gonzalez, and arrested him for a felony Department of Corrections warrant. Gonzalez was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for the warrant unrelated to this incident.

Just prior to 12:00 p.m., a family member called in and reported Ferrell had returned to the residence in the 17200 block of East 5th. Ferrell was high on meth, locked himself in the shop and had threatened to burn the house down. Ferrell reportedly had a knife earlier in the evening, but it was unknown if he had any weapons now. The shop did contain tools, welding torches and chemicals.

When deputies arrived, they could smell a strong odor of fuel as they made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Ferrell. They could hear movement in the shop and at one point, they contacted Ferrell by phone for a short time but he hung up. Fire personnel were called to the scene, as well as the SWAT Team and Crisis Negotiators.

Several PA announcements were made, but Ferrell would not exit the shop. Negotiators talked with Ferrell but he eventually ended the call and would not answer the phone again. A robot was used to attempt contact as well as continued PA announcements and phone calls. With Ferrell refusing to communicate, coupled with his reported threats, drug use and growing paranoia, SWAT Team members feared for Ferrell’s safety.

Irritant gas was introduced into the shop as several more PA announcements were made. After several minutes, Ferrell appeared at the back door of the shop. Ferrell would not exit the shop and would not follow commands. Ferrell finally walked out but he continued to disobey commands and at one point started reaching into his coat as if he was possibly reaching for a weapon. Due to the planning, training and specialized equipment, SWAT Team members opted to use less lethal impact rounds and K9 Deacon while still having the option of lethal cover if it was needed. SWAT Team members eventually took Ferrell into custody as he continued to resist and fail to comply with commands.

Ferrell was provided medical attention at the scene for minor injuries and he was transported to a local hospital to be evaluated. After being medically released, he was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for felony Assault 2nd (DV) and Malicious Mischief 3rd (DV), a misdemeanor.

This is a great example of Deputies, SWAT Team Members and Negotiators working together to end a very dangerous situation peacefully.

Deputy Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Public Information Officer ”

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