Detectives Investigate Early Morning Shooting Incident
Spokane Valley Sheriff’s Detectives are investigating a disturbance that occurred early this morning which ended with the male suspect firing a handgun into the asphalt near the two victims. Neither victim was injured, but one was struck by flying debris from the asphalt being shot. Later in the day, Detectives contacted the suspect, a convicted felon who initially fled the scene, and arrested him for Assault 2nd Degree and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 1st Degree.
On July 12, 2019, just after 6:00 a.m., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to the 5000 block of E. Sprague for the report of a male who just shot at the victim.
Arriving Deputies contacted the adult female victim who explained the suspect, later identified as 53-year-old Bernell L. Henderson, approached her and another transient (adult male) as they were talking in the parking lot off 1st Avenue, behind a business. Henderson threatened to go back to his apartment and retrieve a gun. The victims ignored the threat and continued talking. Henderson turned and went back to his apartment. Moments later, Henderson returned holding a semi-automatic pistol. As the argument continued, Henderson pointed the handgun at the victim and then fired it into the asphalt near her feet. She stated she was hit by flying debris from the bullet hitting the ground but was not injured. Afterward, Henderson fled the area in a vehicle.
Major Crimes Detectives responded to the scene to continue the investigation. A check of Henderson’s name revealed he is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition. A search warrant for Henderson’s apartment, located in the 5000 block of E. 1st Avenue, was requested and obtained. Investigators found two boxes of .45 caliber ammunition during the search.
Later in the day, Investigators spoke to Henderson by phone. He stated he confronted a male outside his apartment after he witnessed the male assault a female. He went back to his apartment, retrieved his pistol, and confronted the male again. He said the male ran up on him and he fired his pistol into the ground because he feared for his safety. After he fired, both he and the male fled the scene.
At approximately 3:30 p.m., Detectives made contact with Henderson and arrested him in front of his apartment. Henderson said he disassembled his pistol and threw the pieces in a lake or river. He initially agreed to show Detectives where he disposed of the firearm, but he would not waive his rights and requested an attorney. The pistol was not recovered.
Henderson was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Assault 2nd Degree and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 1st Degree.