SPOKANE, Wash.--KREM 2 News learned more Wednesday about a decorated war veteran who was shot and killed Tuesday night by local authorities.
Investigators said 23-year-old Jed Zillmer was making threats toward law enforcement and led them on a chase into North Idaho then back to Spokane Valley. It ended with shots fired near the Spokane Valley mall.
Zillmer served the U.S. in Afghanistan and was the recipient of a purple heart.
Documents show Zillmer had sued the army for not getting a certain type of disability benefits after he was shot in the foot. A federal judge sided with the Army.
Zillmer was using benefits to get an education at Spokane Falls Community College.
“Jed was very well liked. He had a unique position on campus where he helped other veterans navigate the process,” said Darren Parish with SFCC.
Those who knew Zillmer said they cannot believe a man who dedicated his life to serving others wound up in a fatal run in with law enforcement.
Zillmer was taking classes at Spokane Falls Community College with help from the G.I. Bill. He was also utilizing their work-study program.
People at SFCC said Zillmer was hanging around campus around the Veteran’s Center just a few hours before investigators said he heavily armed himself and made threats to kill someone if police did not kill him first.
“He got along well with everyone down there. He spent a good day with our vet representative who shared with me this morning that there was no indication yesterday that anything was up,” said Parish.
The campus was filled with grieving staff members and students on Wednesday. Counselors were made available to the many mourners Zillmer touched.
Family members said they knew Zillmer was struggling, adding that he was seeking help. They said he was a good person going through a very rough time.
No deputies or officers were hurt in their confrontation with Zillmer.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said up to eleven deputies and Spokane Valley officers will be placed on administrative leave until they can be cleared to hit the streets again.