SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane police released body camera footage Thursday from a March 2018 officer-involved shooting in the Hillyard neighborhood.
Spokane police officer Scott Hice and Spokane County deputy Sam Palmer shot Ronald Acre, 34, while they were trying to evict Acre from his Hillyard apartment.
Officials said Acre had his hand under a blanket covering what the deputy and officer thought was a weapon. Acre had a previous history of mental health issues.
According to authorities, Acre retrieved a rifle from under the blanket. After telling him to put down his weapon, Acre refused. Palmer and Hice fired their weapons 15 times at Acre before he let go of his rifle.
The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office determined both Hice and Palmer were justified in their use of force and no charges were filed.
Body camera video shows the moments leading up to when they shot Acre because they believed he had a weapon.
Video shows Acre sitting on a couch in the back of the apartment. If front of him is another couch that's been propped up.
"They felt that he was basically trying to come off the couch and take a knee behind another couch that had been placed in a vertical fashion for a barrier, " Spokane police Captain Brad Arleth said.
In the video, Acre continues to ignore officers' commands. Then, he reaches for something under the blanket next to him. Officials said officers could see the scope on the rifle and that's when Palmer and Hice started shooting.
"The rifle had a malfunction in trying to feed to rounds into the chamber at a time," Arleth said.
Acre was shot at 15 times and suffered six injuries. Arleth said police later found videos on the suspect's cell phone of him attaching a hammer to the butt of the rifle.
Officials also found four, 30.06 rounds loaded in the rifle, each with writing on them. Reports said deputies did fear things would get hostile because they knew the suspect made previous threats to other tenants and had a history of mental illness.
Spokane Police were called for backup, along with a mental health professional. Residents in nearby units were not asked to leave the area.
"While anticipated there might be some issues with the individuals based on his behavior, there was nothing to suggest he was going to raise it to that level of violence," Arleth said.
Acre did have surgery after the incident and survived. He is charged with three counts of assault and is awaiting trial.