SPOKANE, Wash. -- Police have released the name of the man police believe shot and killed another man early Thursday morning in Spokane. Police said it started around 1:30 a.m. on the 1500 block of West Grace near Maple Street.
According to the Spokane County Medical Examiner, Justin Cairns, 21, was shot by police in Nine Mile Falls.
A call came into dispatchers reporting a man had been hit by a car. When officers arrived, they found a man lying in the road with gunshot wounds to the chest.
Neighbors told police officers they heard gunshots and reported seeing a car drive away from the scene. Three witnesses were taken to the Police Department for questioning.
Medics took the victim, Cyrus Jones, to the hospital with life-threatening injuries but he later died. The Spokane County Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide. The autopsy report stated that Jones dead from gunshot wounds.
Witnesses told detectives Cairns had went somewhere with Jones just before Jones was found in the street and 2 or 3 gunshots were heard.
Police tracked Justin Cairns, who is accused of killing Jones to a home in the Nine Mile Falls area about 45 minutes after they arrived at the scene on Grace. They used information on the suspect’s car to track him down to a home along the 22000 block of West Charles Road.
Officers observed a vehicle at the location matching the description of the vehicle used by the homicide suspect. Investigators said police believed the suspect was still armed and began setting up a perimeter around the house.
Authorities contacted the Cairns outside of the house. Police Chief Frank Straub said Cairns came outside and shut off the lights. Investigators said the man failed to follow commands when he was confronted by the officers. Officials said Cairns pointed at officers and reached down to his waist then took off running.
During the incident, shots were fired by the officers. Those shots hit Cains and he was pronounced dead at the scene. A semi-automatic handgun was found near the scene.
None of the officers involved were injured.
Detectives searched the house and interviewed three people.
Police Chief Frank Straub said investigators believe the two deceased males knew each other and added the homicide does not appear to be gang related. He said the two men were also well known to police.
Straub said the homicide scene on West Grace will be investigated by the Spokane Police Major Crimes Unit.
The officer-involved shooting on Charles Road will be investigated by the Spokane Regional Incident Response Team. Authorities from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, and the Spokane Police Department make up that organization.
The officers involved in the shooting were put on standard administrative leave. They are expected to speak with a psychologists and investigators. Chief Straub said the department would not make any other comments on the officer-involved shooting until the investigation was complete.
Authorities have not released the names of the officers involved. No other injuries were reported.