SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – KREM 2 News discovered new information Wednesday about the man who was fatally shot and killed by authorities Tuesday night in Spokane Valley.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich confirmed that 23-year-old Jedadiah Zillmer was a decorated veteran who had served in Afghanistan. On Wednesday, the Spokane County Medical Examiner said Zillmer, 23, died from multiple gunshot wounds.
“The information we were receiving was that he intended to die by suicide by police and that he was going to shoot civilians if we didn't find him and stop him first,” said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.
Authorities confirmed there were six law enforcement officers who fired at a military veteran near Indiana and Sullivan. They also said there were five other law enforcement officers who were direct witnesses. Sheriff Knezovich said that means there will be a total of eleven officers on administrative leave.
“Staffing is going to be an issue for us for a few days until the witness and victim officers all get cleared by psychological review,” said Sheriff Knezovich.
Zillmer was shot and killed Tuesday evening after a police chase that began in Spokane, crossed into Kootenai County and then returned to Spokane County.
According to investigators, the incident began with a phone call from the man who said he was suicidal, had weapons and wanted law enforcement to kill him. Deputy Mark Gregory said the Zillmer was approached by Spokane police Tuesday evening but fled east in his vehicle along Interstate 90 to Idaho before turning around and returning to Washington.
Sheriff's deputies stopped the vehicle near the Spokane Valley Mall and Zillmer got out. Moments later, deputies said he made a “threatening move” and they opened fire.
Zillmer reportedly told deputies he was armed with five guns, including an assault rifle, but law enforcement only confirmed he had one weapon that he had held against his neck. Deputies said the suspect threatened to hurt other people. Law enforcement officers said that Zillmer had three guns on him when he was shot.
Zillmer's family said the man was a “good kid.” They said he was having issues and seeking help, but never got it. They added that they knew the man was suicidal.
Family members also said the suspect was a student at Spokane Falls Community College. A person who knew the suspect told KREM 2 News that the suspect claimed that he was shot in the foot while serving in the military. People who saw Zillmer at school on Tuesday said he left campus in a great mood.
On Wednesday, counselors were available for those grieving at Spokane Falls Community College.
The Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team was handling the investigation.