SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane County Sheriff’s Office arrested a convicted felon for multiple charges Monday night.
SCSO deputies responded to a theft/threat call at the Exxon gas station located at 23320 North Highway 395 in North Spokane County.
The Exxon employee told police a frequent customer entered the store, placed his hand on the employee’s shoulder and said “I’m here to rob you.” The employee said he thought the suspect, later identified as 31-year-old Burk T. Simonson, was joking but noticed a large butcher knife in Simonson’s waistband.
The employee began helping other customers but said he noticed Simonson was in the parking lot putting oil in the older white Jeep he drove to the store. He said the oil cans were the same brand they sold and noticed two cans were missing from the store shelves.
He went out and confronted Simonson, who jumped in the Jeep, cursed at him while giving a one finger hand gesture and drove away. Simonson stopped a short distance away, exited the Jeep and began cussing and threatening the employee before driving away again.
While at the store, police heard an emergency broadcast over his radio of a “person with a weapon” near the 500 block of West Bridges Road involving an older white Jeep and a suspect who fired a handgun.
Several deputies responded to the Bridges location where Simonson was later safely taken into custody.
After talking to several witnesses, including an adult female victim who had been assaulted, deputies believe after taking the oil from the gas station, Simonson drove to a residence at the Bridges location where he had been staying. He was confronted by some individuals due to his reckless driving and they began yelling at each other. Simonson walked into the residence, retrieved the homeowner’s handgun and walked back outside. He began shouting for the individuals to leave and fired the handgun one time. Witnesses stated they did not believe Simonson was attempting to actually shoot anyone but appeared to fire as a warning. After hearing the shot, the homeowner exited the residence and took the pistol from Simonson and a secured it in a safe.
A neighbor said Simonson begin hitting and grabbing a dog by the neck. She walked toward Simonson and told him to leave the dog alone. She also warned him she was armed with a knife she kept in a sheath on her belt. Simonson ran toward her, kicked her in the lower abdomen, pushed her to the ground and took the knife from her hip. Simonson walked back toward his residence, handed the knife to the homeowner who had come back outside after securing the pistol and went inside.
When instructed by deputies, Simonson exited the residence, followed commands and was taken into custody. A check of Simonson’s criminal history revealed he was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms. Simonson was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for robbery first degree, unlawful possession of a firearm first degree, assault fourth degree and unlawful aiming/discharging of a firearm.
No one was seriously injured during this incident although the female victim who was kicked and thrown to the ground did receive medical treatment.