UPDATE: Suspect Arrested After Shooting at Victims Attempting to Repossess Vehicle
At the conclusion of the investigation into last night’s incident, Deputies arrested 51-year-old Robert W. Edens for two counts of Assault 1st Degree.
The incident began on February 11, 2020, at approximately 9:00 p.m. when two adult males arrived at a residence located in the 20900 block of W. Indiana Lane in West Spokane County. The males were attempting to locate a vehicle and repossess it.
As they walked up the driveway, they were confronted by a man with a flashlight. They provided the name of a male and asked if he was at the residence. They were told no one was there by that name, and the two returned to their truck and pulled down to the next driveway to discuss what they were going to do.
Suddenly, they heard gunshots, and the rear passenger’s side window shattered. The driver accelerated rapidly to escape but lost control on the rough and icy road. He lost control, went off the side of the road, and crashed into a wooden post at the end of a nearby driveway. The impact deployed the driver’s side airbag.
The victims eventually continued to drive until several Deputies contacted them near the intersection of N. Christensen and Tracy Lane.
While Deputies checked the victims for injuries and tried to determine what occurred, Deputies were advised the suspected shooter, driving a dark-colored Dodge diesel pickup, was attempting to locate the victims. Deputies observed a set of headlights approaching their location, and the sound of a diesel engine was heard.
With the information, the suspect was armed and already fired at the victims, Deputies, while assuring the victims were safe, took positions of cover as a black Dodge occupied by two males drove by without attempting to slow down or stop.
Deputies returned to their vehicles, got behind the Dodge, which eventually pulled over near the intersection of N. Christensen and W. Christensen Road. A high-risk traffic stop was conducted, and the two males were detained without incident.
The driver, identified as Robert Edens, was advised of his rights and he agreed to answer questions. He said he received a text saying someone was on his property prowling his garage. He armed himself with a 12-gauge shotgun and walked to the end of his driveway where a truck was parked. He wasn’t sure what the truck was doing but thought it was suspicious. When he got close to the vehicle, he fired 3-5 warning shots into the air and ground. He said the truck took off, “driving all crazy”. He returned to his home, unloaded the shotgun, and jumped in his Dodge to follow the suspicious truck. Once he noticed Deputies were contacting the victims that fled, he kept driving to find a place to turn around. When he passed, he knew he was going to get stopped.
As the interview continued, Robert said he fired with the muzzle pointed in the air, and one-shot directly into the ground. When asked if any of the shotgun pellets hit the truck, Robert replied. “Not that I know of, no.” He reiterated that he did not intentionally fire at the truck. Robert gave consent for Deputies at his residence to search for the shotgun and seize it as part of the investigation.
When asked how he suspected the victim’s truck was damaged, Robert said rocks must have caused it when he fired into the gravel on the ground. He continued to say he did not point the shotgun at the truck, he pointed in the air and at the ground and was “hip shooting.” When asked why he shot at the truck in the first place, Robert said he has had some “squirrely people” come by his house lately and he was protecting his property. He said the individuals in the truck did not threaten him verbally or physically. He was just protecting his property.
Robert was advised in Washington; he couldn’t use deadly force to merely protect property, Robert said something to the effect of, “I have no idea, sounds like I need to move to Idaho.”
Deputies located the shotgun sitting on Robert’s porch. Five spent shotgun casings were collected at the end of Robert’s driveway.
Damage observed to the victim’s truck appeared to be consistent with shotgun pellet strikes (Robert stated the shotgun was loaded with birdshot).
The passenger in Robert’s vehicle declined to answer questions, and at the conclusion of the incident, he was released without charges.
Neither of the victims were shot, but the passenger was provided medical attention for lower back pain sustained during the crash.
Robert Edens was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for two counts of Assault 1st Degree.
Initial Release sent February 11, 2020:
Deputies Investigate Reported Shots Fired at Attempted Vehicle Repossession
Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating a report of shots being fired at two people attempting to repossess a vehicle in West Spokane County. Deputies contacted the parties involved, and no one has been shot.
On February 11, 2020, at approximately 9:00 p.m., a person reported he and a coworker were attempting to repossess a vehicle at a residence located in the 20900 block of W. Indiana Lane when a subject shot out the rear window of his vehicle. He stated they quickly fled the area of the residence.
Multiple Deputies responded to the call and contacted an involved vehicle near the intersection of Brooks Road and Christensen Road.
At this time, Deputies have two males detained and are working to determine the facts of what actually occurred. One of the males in the fleeing vehicle did complain of what appeared to be minor injuries suffered as they rapidly fled the scene.
This is initial information, and Deputies continue to investigate. An update will be provided later in the day tomorrow, including any charges/arrests, once all the information is obtained.