By Nicholas K. Geranios Associated Press
SPOKAN — A man described as a decorated veteran of Afghanistan was shot and killed after a police chase that involved two states.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said the man was a decorated veteran who had served in Afghanistan.
Authorities haven’t released the man’s identity, but The Spokesman-Review identified him Wednesday as Jedadiah Zillmer, a 2008 graduate of Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane. The newspaper reported that Zillmer’s family and friends confirmed his identity.
Spokane police said the incident began around 7 p.m. Tuesday, when 911 received a call from a man indicating he was suicidal, had weapons and wanted law enforcement officers to kill him.
Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Gregory said police approached the man’s vehicle, but he drove east on Interstate 90 to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Once there, he turned around and returned to Washington, Gregory said.
Deputies stopped the vehicle near the Spokane Valley Mall and the man got out, police said. Moments later, deputies say he made a threatening move and they opened fire.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said no additional information about the incident would be released Wednesday.
The Spokesman-Review said Zillmer left the Army in September 2012. A relative told the newspaper that family members suspected he might be suffering from post-traumatic stress but no diagnosis had been made.
Zillmer was shot in the foot during combat in Afghanistan in 2011 and lost part of a toe, the newspaper said. He was among a group of soldiers who were denied disability benefits from the Army and sued, the newspaper said, and a federal judge upheld the Army’s decision in September.
Because the shooting involved an officer, the incident will be investigated by a team including the Spokane Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Liberty Lake Police Department, Airway Heights Police Department, and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.