SPOKANE, Washington - Two sheriff's deputies were shot and wounded Tuesday in the north Spokane area, triggering a 40-mile, high-speed gunfight that ended when the suspect officers were chasing killed himself.
The deputies were wounded about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday during a traffic stop, Spokane Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said. The gunman then carjacked another vehicle and headed north.
Officers from multiple police agencies gave chase, exchanging gunshots with the man until he collided with a patrol car near Deer Park, Wash., after hitting a spike strip. The man then fatally shot himself, DeRuwe said.
"He was very desperate. He was very dangerous," the spokeswoman told reporters Tuesday night.
No one else was injured during the chase.
The Spokesman-Review identified the suspect as Charles R. Wallace, 41, indicted just a month ago on federal charges connected to a heroin distribution ring.
Police refused to identify him pending an autopsy.
Following his arrest, Wallace was allowed to leave jail without posting bail May 31 for inpatient drug treatment in Spokane Valley, while awaiting trial in the heroin trafficking case, the newspaper reported.
U.S. District Court records show Wallace failed to appear in court Monday to discuss how his treatment program was going.
In 2002, Wallace was arrested after escaping from nearby Geiger Corrections Center. As of that year, Wallace's criminal record included 25 adult convictions for drugs, burglary, theft, forgery, assault, driving under the influence and attempting to elude police, the newspaper reported.
The unidentified male deputies remained hospitalized at Sacred Heart Medical Center in stable condition. One was taken to surgery while the other was not expected to require surgery, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said earlier.
"Both are expected to make a recovery," DeRuwe said.
No details were provided on the deputies.
"They're both quality deputies and they do a great job," the sheriff said.
Lori Musgrave told the Spokesman-Review she saw the final moments of the police chase as the suspect raced past her Farmers Market and Bakery.
"The car was flying, just absolutely, down the road," she said, noting the driver's head was hanging out the window and a gun was pointed out the window as well. Police were in pursuit.
"I just told my staff to run," she said.
Officers worked late into the night interviewing witnesses and trying to determine exactly what happened and whether others were involved.
Both Knezovich and Interim Spokane Police Chief Scott Stephens said earlier that there was no longer any danger to the public.
"There is no other shooter left at large," Stephens said.
Officers said the initial shooting and its aftermath involved multiple investigation scenes. Evening rush hour traffic was snarled.
"We're still sorting it out, but everything is under control," Knezovich said.