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Wash. firefighters take cover after arson suspect fired shots near burning home

The suspect fired two gunshots as the Spokane firefighters worked to extinguish the fire


Deputies observed and seized a black AR-style magazine shotgun, two spent shotgun shells, a Bible and a bottle of Vodka lying on the ground near the suspect.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office

By Garrett Cabeza
The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.

SPOKANE, Wash. — A 63-year-old man told a woman he was going to be sacrificed before setting fire to their house and firing two shots from a shotgun as firefighters and witnesses ran for cover Tuesday night near Chattaroy, according to court documents.

Timothy King was booked into the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of first-degree arson, 13 counts of second-degree assault, interfering with the reporting of domestic violence and third-degree malicious mischief, according to a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Spokane County Fire District 4 responded at about 9:50 p.m. to several reports of a fully engulfed mobile home in the 35300 block of North Newport Highway, just one or two blocks from Riverside High School, the sheriff’s office said.

Callers provided additional information that an armed man was seen walking around the area and that the incident might stemmed from domestic violence. Sheriff’s deputies then began to respond.

Firefighters reported the fire appeared to be arson, the sheriff’s office said.

They were putting the fire out when they and other witnesses heard two gunshots and ran for cover behind a fire engine, documents say.

A sheriff’s office Major Crimes detective and a member of the U.S. Marshals Service were also in the area looking for an unrelated fugitive when they contacted King armed with a shotgun and gave commands for him to drop the weapon. King made statements that law enforcement would have to shoot and kill him, but he eventually dropped the shotgun, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies observed and seized a black AR-style magazine shotgun, two spent shotgun shells, a Bible and a bottle of Vodka lying on the ground near a handcuffed King, according to documents. King told deputies after he was arrested that he only wanted to speak to a woman with whom he lives.

The woman told deputies she woke up to him saying he was going to be sacrificed and other odd things, documents say. She said she and King were coming off methamphetamine the last couple days, according to documents.

King then started to rip the house apart, she told deputies. She told him she would call law enforcement, and King allegedly responded by grabbing her phone and stabbing it with a screwdriver, breaking it.

She said in documents King told her the previous day he would burn the house down and said Tuesday night a Bible she wanted would burn with the rest of the house.

The woman also said King blocked her from going out the front door, but she eventually got out, ran to King’s truck and grabbed a handgun from it, she told deputies. She ran with her dog to the Riverside Market next door and was picked up by her friend and brought back to her neighborhood to find her house burned down.

A witness told deputies he heard a woman screaming, “Call 911.” The witness saw her run away from the home and hide behind a nearby dumpster.

A man came out of the trailer and got into his pickup, backed the truck up, collided with the trailer and then drove away, according to the witness. He saw the man in the truck return about two minutes later and pack his truck with several items, including a black AR-style firearm. The witness left the area and later saw the mobile home engulfed in flames.

No one was injured, and the sheriff’s office continues to investigate, the sheriff’s office said.

King made his first appearance Wednesday in Spokane County Superior Court and is scheduled for an arraignment March 26 . He remained in jail Wednesday night.


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