SPOKANE— Police have identified both individuals in an officer-involved shooting in Spokane.
Just after 4:00 a.m. Sunday, a Spokane police officer shot 24-year-old Jesse H. Johnson while responding to a call of shots fired. The initial report said the man had a shotgun along Mission near Napa. Witnesses told police he was pointing the gun at another person.
The officer, 31-year-old Ronald Van Tassel, shot the suspect in the leg. Johnson was taken to a local hospital where they found methamphetamines on him. He was released Wednesday and booked into the Spokane County Jail.
Police recovered a pump-style BB gun at the scene, which resembles a rifle. It’s still unclear if it was the weapon Johnson was holding when police approached him.
Johnson is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday. He is charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, 4th Degree Assault, Reckless Endangerment, Intimidation with a Weapon and Aiming or Discharging a Dangerous Weapon. Police say the victim Johnson aimed the gun at is his former roommate, meaning this is also considered domestic violence.
Neighbors say this was like nothing they have ever seen before. Some add it changes their opinion of the area.
Van Tassel remains on administrative leave, which is standard practice. He was hired as a reserve officer in February 2003 and a full-time officer in February of 2006.