Smorgasbord of Spokane Crime For Start of 2014

By Paige Browning

Spokane Police had their hands full in week one of 2014 investigating a homicide, a non-fatal shooting, and bank and pharmacy robberies. The homicide is the one case where detectives are closing in on a suspect.
 
Spokane Police Captain Joe Walker says his investigations unit was so busy with crimes this weekend it had to draw officers from other SPD departments.
 
Walker: “All of the major crimes detectives, we’ve used all of them for these crimes. We’ve had some of our property detectives assist as well with interviews.”
 
A string of crimes started Friday with two separate bank robberies. Police are looking for three, black, male suspects who demanded money at gunpoint at a Washington Trust Bank branch. A photo of one suspect is on our news page. Police are also looking for a while, male suspect who showed a teller a note demanding cash at a US Bank branch. SPD and FBI personnel are investigating whether the Washington Trust Bank holdup is related to bank robberies in December.
 
Crimes turned violent from there. The police department says Friday night a woman was dropped off at Sacred Heart hospital suffering from gun shot wounds. She remains in hospital care. Captain Walker says they are in the beginning of investigations but they believe it is one suspect. Investigators are looking into getting surveillance footage from the hospital and a Wendy’s restaurant where the victim’s car was found.
 
Also Friday night, a man was shot and killed on north Astor Street. Detectives have a suspect they are prepared to arrest in this case, but there is a snag in their investigation. Walker says suspect Brandon Mellon fled to Pasco, Washington and before police could take him into custody, he shot himself in the leg at a motel. He was taken to Portland for hospital care, where he’s under supervision. Walker says detectives submitted paperwork Monday to charge 26-year old Mellon with 1st degree murder.
 
While there have not been formal arrests in any of these crimes, Captain Walker is confident they will make arrests soon.
 
Walker: “We’re giving it 100% moving forward with these investigations. And I feel very good about these being resolved soon.”
 
Meanwhile, the SPD has new hires going through the training process to become officers.
 
Copyright 2014 Spokane Public Radio
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