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Suspect in fatal shooting of home caregiver has 'traumatic brain injuries'

Mitchell Chandler reportedly shot and killed a Providence Home Health caregiver who was meeting with his grandmother after she suffered a stroke.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The suspect in the deadly shooting of a home health caregiver reportedly suffered from mental health issues after a traumatic brain injury. According to court documents, he was extremely protective of his grandparents and has a history of assaulting medical workers.

33-year-old Mitchell Chandler was arrested Friday morning after he allegedly shot and killed a home healthcare worker in his grandparents' mobile home on Thursday evening. SPD worked through the night and into Friday morning to locate Chandler, who was considered armed and dangerous.

According to court documents, Chandler lived in the mobile home park with his grandparents but had recently moved out. He would occasionally use the spare bedroom in the home but was otherwise homeless. 

Chandler's grandmother told police Chandler suffers from mental health issues after receiving a traumatic brain injury from bull riding. His grandmother said Chandler is paranoid, opposed to taking his medication and very isolated. She added he is very protective of her and her husband.

Chandler was arrested several years ago for assaulting a veterinarian, according to court documents. He reportedly assaulted the veterinarian after his grandmother's dog died while having a tooth removed. Chandler was also arrested a second time for allegedly threatening to shoot developers at a construction site.

Credit: Spokane Police Department
Mitchell Chandler.

On Nov. 30, Chandler spent the night at his grandparent's house. The next day, he borrowed his grandmother's car to go get items from his storage unit, including snow skis that were found with him when he was arrested Friday. It is not known when he returned back to the house.

Chandler's grandmother recently returned from the hospital after suffering a stroke, according to court documents. On Thursday afternoon, a home health caregiver arrived at the house for a follow-up visit with Chandler's grandmother.

KREM 2 confirmed with Providence that the victim was a Providence Home Health caregiver.

According to court documents, Chandler's grandparents and the caregiver sat in the mobile home's living room during the appointment. Chandler's grandmother told police he was inside the home at that time but she did not know where exactly.

The grandparents and the caregiver sat in the living room discussing Chandler's grandmother's treatment and medications. She told police she could smell Chandler cooking something in the kitchen during her appointment, which meant Chandler could hear the conversation with the caregiver.

Approximately one hour into the appointment, Chandler's grandmother said she heard "three loud booms" before hearing the caregiver say, "I've been shot." The caregiver tried to stand up from the couch but fell to the ground, prompting Chandler's grandfather to get up from his seat and try to help the caregiver.

Chandler's grandfather then got up to look for Chandler for help. According to court documents, Chandler came around the corner from the kitchen and walked toward where the caregiver was in the living room. He then stood over the caregiver and shot him one more time at close range before leaving the home.

Chandler's grandmother said she tried to talk to him, but he left without saying anything. She told police she assumed Chandler grabbed his grandfather's key fob before leaving the house because he drove away in the couple's car.

Chandler's grandmother then called the police, according to court documents.

Providence released the following statement on the murder of the caregiver:

We were heartbroken to learn about the loss of a Providence Home Health caregiver, who was killed last night while on a visit to provide care to patients in their Spokane home.

We extend our deepest condolences to the caregiver’s family. We are also supporting his coworkers, who are devastated by the tragic loss of their friend and colleague. The victim of this senseless tragedy has been part of our Providence ministries for nearly two decades and his loss will be grieved by the many patients and caregivers whose lives he made better through his healing work.

We ask the people of Spokane to join our prayers for the caregiver’s loved ones during this time of mourning.

Chandler is currently in the Spokane County Jail on a second-degree murder charge. His bond is set at $1 million.

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