Suspect Shooting in Wooded Area between Apartments & Mirabeau Park Arrested for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm & Two Misdemeanors
Spokane Valley Deputies responded to a call of two males shooting a rifle away from the apartment complex and into the wooded area to the east. Arriving Deputies contacted and detained one of the suspects who followed commands. The second suspect fled on foot but was quickly located and detained. A .22 caliber rifle was located as the investigation continued. The suspect who fled was identified and found to be an adult with an active No Contact Order prohibiting him from obtaining/possessing a firearm. He was booked into jail for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 2nd Degree (felony and two misdemeanor charges for obstructing and reckless endangerment. According to both suspects, the juvenile only watched, did not shoot, and was not charged.
On March 20, 2022, at approximately 2:45 pm., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to a report of two males shooting in the 2800 block of N. Cherry Street.
The caller stated the males were shooting what she believed was a rifle away from the apartment complex and into the wooded area to the east. She said it appears they were shooting at a dog or cat and was concerned due to homeless encampments known to be in the wooded area.
The males were described as 16-17-year-old black males, one wearing a white jacket and light pants and the other wearing a red coat and blue jeans.
Several Deputies responded to the call. Deputy West arrived in the parking lot and walked into the wooded area to locate the suspects. As he did, he was advised by a Spokane Regional Emergency Communications Dispatcher that the call said the males were running away. The male with the white & gray sweatshirt, later identified as 19-year-old Kassem H.S. Bell, appeared to hide the rifle in his pants.
Deputy West crested a small hill and observed Bell and the second suspect in the red coat, later identified as a 17-year-old juvenile, running away from him, along the fence line. Knowing the males were reported to be armed, Deputy West drew his sidearm while maintaining his distance and ordered them to stop.
Bell dove through a hole in the fence and ran westbound. The juvenile stopped, followed commands and was safely detained. Deputy West advised additional Deputies who were arriving on scene Bell’s direction of travel and last seen point.
Deputy A. Johnson arrived and located Bell walking in another part of the complex parking lot. He gave clear commands to Bell, who questioned being contacted. Deputy Johnson defused the situation, gained Bell’s compliance, and he was detained without incident.
Bell was found to have a .22 caliber magazine in his right front pants pocket. At first, Bell provided a fake name and stated he didn’t know anything. After being advised of his rights and the need for him to be truthful, Bell provided his correct name and information. He admitted that he was shooting the .22 rifle and that the juvenile didn’t do anything except watch. He stated he didn’t shoot at a dog but had one with him that was yelping because of the noise.
The dog was located and was uninjured.
The .22 caliber rifle and an empty magazine were located behind a bush, next to one of the apartment buildings. The firearm did not show as reported stolen after checking the serial number.
A check of Bell’s name showed he had a served and valid No Contact Court Order. One of the conditions of the order showed Bell could not legally obtain or possess a firearm.
Bell was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 2nd Degree, Reckless Endangerment 2nd Degree, and Obstructing.
The juvenile was not charged, and he was released to a family member along with the small dog.
NOTE: A person wearing a bathrobe interjected himself into this scene by initially putting himself at risk by walking behind Hill when Deputy Johnson first contacted Hill as a possibly armed suspect. The person, later identified as 33-year-old Jordan D. Gray, was carrying a camera and stated he was a “1st Amendment Auditor”. He was told that was fine but to stay out of the scene as it was not yet safe, and it was unknown if we had the correct suspect, where the gun was, or if there was anyone else involved.
Later, as Deputy Turner placed the magazine found on Bell in the nearest patrol car to secure it, Gray walked right up to its passenger door with his video camera. Deputy Turner told Gray to step back away from the patrol car, or he would be arrested for obstructing the investigation. It was unclear if Gray would attempt to enter the patrol car where the evidence had been secured, record the computer screen, which may contain information that is not open to public view, or for some other reason. Gray became confrontational stating, he was a photojournalist and could record wherever he wanted. He told Deputy Turner to give him a “lawful order” to which Deputy Turner explained that’s what he was doing.
Deputy Turner again told Gray to back up a couple of feet onto the sidewalk, stay away from the patrol car and stay out of the crime scene. (The actual incident, the suspect and Deputies, was behind Gray in the opposite direction of the patrol car.)
Deputy Turner told Gray this a total of 9 times and that he was interfering with the investigation. Gray continued to say no, too bad, while refusing to move. Continuing to be distracted and not assist in the active investigation, Deputy Turner told Gray he was under arrest for Obstructing. Gray refused to comply, making it difficult to place him in handcuffs. Due to this, Deputy Johnson came to assist, which took him away from the detained suspect and ongoing investigation. Gray continued his defiance, demanding a supervisor and threatening a lawsuit.
After being advised of his rights, Gray refused to provide his name or answer questions. After speaking with a Sergeant, Gray was transported to the Spokane County Jail and booked for Obstructing. His bond was set at $1,000.
Gray did eventually identify himself on the way to jail and was found to be a four-time convicted felon.
On February 6, 2022, Gray was previously contacted following a fatal shooting in the 9300 block of E. Montgomery, where he again approached patrol cars and Deputies after a K9 search. At that time, he attempted to record computer scenes and check if the patrol cars were unlocked. He also approached a group of Deputies, debriefing the track and discussing tactics. He refused to leave at that time and became confrontational. At that time, the Deputies were not at an active crime scene, and the decision was made to move locations and continue looking for the homicide suspect instead of confronting or arresting Gray.
Obstructing a law enforcement officer.
(1) A person is guilty of obstructing a law enforcement officer if the person willfully hinders, delays, or obstructs any law enforcement officer in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties.
(2) "Law enforcement officer" means any general authority, limited authority, or specially commissioned Washington peace officer or federal peace officer as those terms are defined in RCW 10.93.020, and other public officers who are responsible for enforcement of fire, building, zoning, and life and safety codes.
(3) Obstructing a law enforcement officer is a gross misdemeanor.