Witnesses come face to face with STA Plaza stabbing suspect




Posted on June 8, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 9 at 4:46 AM

SPOKANE, Wash.—Multiple witnesses spoke out on Sunday about coming face to face with a murder suspect on Saturday night.

The suspect, identified as 40-year-old Donald Phillips, was accused of stabbing a man to death at the STA Plaza in Downtown Spokane just before 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

READ: SPD arrests STA Plaza stabbing suspect

The suspect fled on foot and police launched a massive manhunt for him. Police were called to the Peaceful Valley neighborhood where Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder had spotted the suspect.

Snyder said the man he saw matched the suspect description of the stabbing suspect.

"There was a good chance that was the guy and I thought if I lost sight of him he might disappear and I was really worried about my neighbors,” said Snyder.

Snyder said he confronted the suspect and called police.

WATCH: Spokane homeowner helps catch STA Plaza stabbing suspect

"He said, ‘who are you calling, are you calling the Police?’ He said, ‘I don't like the police, I don't need the police.’ And that's when I thought even more that was the guy,” said Snyder.

Officers then flooded the Peaceful Valley area and searched for the suspect.

A homeowner said the suspect walked into his home near Main and Cedar while police searched for him.

"He said ‘Shhh. Just be quiet. Let's just sit down and talk. You don't understand what's going on.’ I yelled to my son, ‘I don't know who this is, get out of the house and call the cops,’" said homeowner Benjamin Reichow.

Reichow said the suspect would not leave. He said he focused on keeping him calm.

"I said OK let's go sit down on my picnic table. I was doing whatever I could to talk him out of my house. Without pissing him off, because I didn't want to be the next person to get stabbed,” said Reichow.

Reichow said he spent ten minutes talking to the suspect inside his home while backing him toward the door.

"He just kept saying ‘you don't know me you don't know me.’ I said, ‘I know I don't know you. You just need to leave my house,’" said Reichow.

Reichow said the suspect finally walked off.

Spokane police later arrested Phillips a couple of homes away.

"I was just glad my son was home with me and got out and was able to call the cops. Because if I was home alone, who knows what might have happened,” said Reichow.

Spokane police said Phillips had an extensive violent and criminal history. He was wanted on an outstanding felony warrant with the Department of Corrections at the time of the stabbing.