Suspect, believed to be Armed, Does Not Cooperate
Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies responding to a person with a weapon call found themselves in a situation involving an uncooperative suspect, reportedly armed with a pistol, an uncooperative friend, and the suspect’s mother, who showed up at the scene. The suspect remained uncooperative throughout the incident but was eventually taken into custody.
On April 3, 2023, at approximately 1:30 am, Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a person with a weapon call in the 500 block of E. Hastings. The caller advised he saw a male smashing out the windows of a car. When he contacted the suspect, he pulled a gun on the caller, telling him the vehicle was his and he could smash the widows if he wanted. The caller described the suspect as a black male, 20-30s, wearing a gray sweatshirt.
Arriving Deputies located the vehicle, a blue 2012 Cadillac SRX parked on the east side of the parking lot, and a male matching the suspect’s description standing in a flower bed a few feet away. The suspect, later identified as 18-year-old Nicholas I. Gilliam, turned toward the Cadillac as he was told not to get in the vehicle. Gilliam made eye contact with the Deputy, got into the car, closed the door, and rested his head on his hand as if trying to sleep. Gilliam was given several commands to show his hands and exit the vehicle, all he ignored.
As additional Deputies and a K9 Unit arrived, they worked together to stop a potential escape that could further endanger the public.
A short time later, a female walked toward Gilliam’s car, ignoring multiple commands to stop and not to approach the vehicle. She kept her hands in her pockets despite commands to show her hands. With a firearm reported to be involved and not knowing if this was domestic violence situation, where the gun was, or who had it, the female was detained as soon as she walked away from Gilliam’s vehicle.
Several Spokane Police Officers arrived to assist with the dangerous and unpredictable situation.
As Deputies tried to communicate with Gilliam to end this situation peacefully, Gilliam’s mother arrived at the scene and began yelling that Gilliam was her son. She ignored multiple commands to stop and back up.
Suddenly, Gilliam exited the Cadillac and walked toward his mom and Deputies. Deputies gave him commands, warning him to stop or the K9 could bite him, but he kept closing the distance and disregarding any and all commands. Deputies advised him to stop, or he would be Tased, but he continued to move closer. Two Deputies fired their Tasers, and the probes appeared to hit Gilliam, but they failed to have an effect or stop Gilliam from advancing.
Gilliam’s mom was restrained from moving closer and possibly being injured. A Deputy and an SPD Officer quickly moved in and took control of Gilliam’s arms, who began actively resisting and fighting their efforts. Gilliam was taken to the ground, face down, and he tucked his arms under his torso. Still not knowing where the reported firearm was or if Gilliam was attempting to grab it, another Deputy used his Taser to achieve the desired result, and Gilliam was handcuffed. However, he remained extremely combative and non-compliant.
After being placed in the back of a patrol car, he continued to yell and scream as he began kicking the doors. Fearing he may harm himself during his violent, uncontrolled tirade, he was restrained further for his protection.
The original caller/victim stated he took his dog outside and noticed Gilliam breaking the windows of the Cadillac. He yelled at Gilliam to stop, and Gilliam replied that it was his car and he could break the windows if he wanted. Then, he reached into the car, pulled out a handgun and cocked it. The victim, fearing for his safety, backed away, went to his apartment, and called 911.
Deputies also spoke with another person who declined to provide information. The witness said he heard three gunshots and yelling prior to the arrival of Deputies.
Deputies observed what appeared to be bullet holes in the driver’s and passenger’s side doors which seemed to have been fired from inside the car outward. Also observed in the vehicle was a pistol magazine, a pistol-sized case, and a spent shell casing. Two spent .45 caliber casings were found in the roadway and were collected as evidence.
The detained female said Gilliam hit a curb when he drove into the parking lot. He had not been drinking but became enraged because he lost the keys to his car and wanted back inside, so he punched out the windows. She denied Gilliam ever had a gun. She was released at the scene without being charged.
Based on the witness statement and evidence observed at the scene, Deputies established probable cause to arrest Gilliam for felony Harassment and three counts of Reckless Endangerment. He was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail, where his total bond was set at $10,000 by Spokane County Superior Court Commissioner J. Schmidt.
Because Gilliam is 18 and unable to possess a handgun legally, the Cadillac was seized, and a search warrant for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm was requested. Once obtained and served, the vehicle will be searched for any firearms and firearms accessories (magazines, bullets, shell casings, and cases).
This remains an active investigation, and additional charges are possible.