SPOKANE, Wash. – City leaders denounced the actions of two men after they said the suspects harassed a 66-year-old black man, punched him in the face, and shot at his home.
Jason Cooper and Donald Prichard both face charges of assault and malicious harassment stemming from the incident. Court records show one of the suspects lives next door to the victim.
People who know the men told police they believe both are white supremacists. Cooper has the words “white power” tattooed on his leg, according to one witness.
The men shouted phrases during the attack at the victim like, “White lives are the only thing that matters” and “You don’t deserve to be breathing white man’s air,” according to court documents.
KREM 2 found both Cooper and Prichard have lengthy criminal backgrounds. Cooper has been convicted in the past for assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, burglary, vehicular assault, phone harassment, controlled substance, and lewd conduct with a child.
Records show Cooper is a 14 time convicted felon and Prichard is a 16 time convicted felon. Prichard has been convicted in several cases of assault, vehicular assault, indecent liberties, and domestic violence. He served time in prison from October 2011 to March 2015, and is currently on felony probation.
As felons, neither man is supposed to have firearms in their possession. However, police said one of the them pulled a revolver and threatened to kill the man in the hate crime Sunday, before coming back and shooting at his home.
When police searched Prichard’s home, court documents said they found three semi-automatic firearms. Both suspects remain in jail as of Wednesday night, held on $500,000 bond.
City leaders held a press conference Wednesday morning to denounce the hate crime.
“As we renew our commitment today, all of us in our everyday lives, that we contribute to the inclusiveness of the community and make it very clear that these acts of hate and crime and violence have no place in Spokane,” Mayor David Condon said. “Hate has no place in our community and those that show that sort of hate have no place in our community.”
“Quit sitting on the sidelines, and acting like it’s their problem, and realize it’s your problem, because it's your neighborhood,” said Spokane NAACP President Kurt Robinson.
“Not only are we an inviting and inclusive community, but we will absolutely not tolerate this kind of hate,” said Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl.