SWAT Team and Crisis Negotiators Respond to Assist Patrol with a Barricaded DV Suspect who Initially wouldn’t Release Four Young Children
Spokane County Deputies, assisted by SWAT, Crisis Negotiators, and Air Support Units, successfully ended an extremely tense situation involving a barricaded DV suspect, his father, and four young children (victim’s children, not the suspects). The two adults failed to initially release the children after numerous commands were given telling them to do so. Eventually, one child was released approximately 25 minutes later, and the remaining three were released about 40 minutes later, all unharmed.
The two adult suspects were coaxed into surrendering and were taken into custody. Both were arrested with Unlawful Imprisonment (4 counts), and the initial suspect was also charged with Malicious Mischief 2nd Degree (DV).
On March 26, 2023, at approximately 8:10 pm, Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a residence in the 500 block of A Street in Deer Park for a reported domestic violence incident. Deputies began investigating the incident and were told the adult male involved, identified as 30-year-old Colby H. Sellers, left the scene.
From the information received from the victim, this incident only appeared to be an argument, and no crime had been committed.
As the Deputies continued to investigate, the victim continued to go back and forth between the RV and the residence, and the victim’s four young children (not Colby’s children) were also inside the RV. Colby’s father, identified as 52-year-old Christopher L. Sellers, entered the RV and closed the door.
While Deputies waited for a friend of the victim to pick her and her children up, they noticed the passenger’s side window of a Dodge SUV belonging to the victim was shattered. Upon closer inspection, the Dodge also had front-end damage that appeared fresh. A Chevrolet P/U, belonging to Colby, was parked next to the Dodge.
The victim was contacted and asked to exit the RV, away from Christopher. She provided additional information saying Colby shattered the window of her Dodge after the earlier argument where he accused her of cheating on him. Colby also backed his Chevy P/U into the front of the Dodge, causing damage, and he broke the victim’s sunglasses. The damage was estimated at over $1,300.
She also admitted Colby was hiding inside the RV with her children and Christopher, and several firearms were also inside. She did not initially admit this because she was afraid due to Colby's broad threats, saying things would be bad for her if she told Deputies he was hiding inside.
Probably cause to arrest Colby for felony Malicious Mischief 2nd Degree (DV) was now established. As they continued to talk with the victim, Deputies around the RV were heard talking to someone, and then someone in the RV could be heard yelling. The victim was quickly moved to a position of safety as Deputies surrounded the RV.
Deputies gave several commands for Colby and Christopher to release the children and peacefully surrender. Unfortunately, both could be heard yelling that the Deputies were trespassing and they needed to leave their property. Colby opened the door momentarily as he yelled and then went back inside and closed the door. Deputies explained to both Colby and Christopher that they needed to release the children, or this would be considered a hostage situation, and SWAT would respond.
With the children not being released, a search warrant application was started, and SWAT, the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT), and Regional Air Support Unit UAS operators were called out.
Approximately 25 minutes after the initial commands to release the children were given, one young child was released unharmed and reunited with her mother. The search warrant application was completed and forwarded to a judge for consideration. Approximately 40 minutes after the initial commands to release the children, the remaining three children were released unharmed and reunited with their mother.
A short time later, with Colby and Christopher still refusing to surrender, the SWAT Team, CNT, and ASU personnel began to arrive, and the search warrant was granted.
Approximately 40 minutes later, Christopher exited the RV and surrendered without incident. CNT members contacted Colby and continually tried to get him to surrender, but he refused.
A little over an hour later, Colby decided to surrender and was taken into custody without further incident.
After the SWAT Team cleared the RV to ensure no one else was inside, they returned the scene to Patrol. Deputies served the search warrant and collected the firearms for safekeeping due to the domestic violence arrest.
Colby and Christopher were transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for four felony counts of Unlawful Imprisonment. Colby was additionally charged with one felony count of Malicious Mischief 2nd Degree.
SIRT Team Volunteers also responded to this call to assist with traffic control.