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INCIDENT DATE: February 11, 2014
TO: STEVE TUCKER; DET. BEN ESTES
CAD reports show that Mr. Zillmer first called in around 7:05 pm. He stated he wanted
cops to kill him, that he had five guns. At 7:08 pm he said he is going to have a shootout and
has one gun loaded. At 7:15 pm he says he wants to be shot in the head and will shoot into the
air until police shoot him. At 7:16 pm he says he does not plan to shoot civilians unless the
police take too long to shoot him.
Dispatcher Maria White had the bulk of the conversation with Jedadiah Zillmer. She
initially was trying to find out his location but he kept giving different false ones. He told White
he was “waiting till a cop comes up and shoots me in the head.” He said he was “chilling in my
Honda” and “chilling and decided I was a psychopath so I figured I would let the cops kill me.”
He wanted to know why they could not track him through his phone. White told him he needed
to hang up and call 911 because he could only be tracked through 911. She could not convince
him to talk to officers or his wife. He said “When I am done with you, I am going to hang up and
then rock and roll, then uh, when they shoot me in the head, it will be done.”
Zillmer told White that he did not plan on shooting civilians “unless it takes too fucking
long.” He stated he had nothing to live for because there is nothing he loves. White talked to
him about talking to someone at the VA but he said there is no one to talk to there.
Zillmer inquired of White about, “What’s the cop procedure?” She told him that they
would try and stop him and he asked how. She said they would turn on their lights and he
would pull over and come out with his hands up, right? Zillmer laughed, and then sighed.
Zillmer explained that instead of somebody shooting themselves they still go to Jesus if
someone else shoots them.
Officer Kaurin was working as a training car with Officer Kirby on 2011-14. He was
dispatched to a suicidal man call at 7:07 pm involving Jedadiah Zillmer, who had said he was
driving, had guns and wanted police to kill him. Officer Kaurin contacted Katie Zillmer, his wife,
as she had made a DV report at 7:21 pm. She had told radio that she got into a verbal
argument with her husband about 4 pm and was driving to her parent’s house. She wanted
police to check on her husband because he had made suicidal threats.
Katie Zillmer told Officer Kaurin that she recently found out her husband had cheated on
her, causing marital problems. When she got home from school today around 2:30 pm,
Jedadiah Zillmer was drunk and verbally abusive. She left alone for marriage counselling
around 4 pm. Jedadiah’s cousin Josh called her to say that Jedadiah was going to call police
and tell them to “bring it on”. She then called police.
Officer Eckersley assisted in the search for Jedadiah Zillmer. He knew he wanted
Officers to shoot him and was driving a red Honda Civic. Radio was broadcasting different
locations for Zillmer. Officer Eckersley went to Zillmer’s house at 1024 E. Augusta to try and
verify what car Zillmer was driving. While there, Zillmer’s mother and sister walked up. They
were both clearly upset and said Jedadiah had made statement that they would be better off
without him. They confirmed his red Honda Civic was gone. A friend went into Zillmer’s house
and told police a couple handguns were missing. They said he had been drinking tonight and is
an army vet with PTSD.
Officer Dan Lesser responded to assist to the valley when after hearing that Zillmer’s car
had been located and was in a pursuit from Idaho into Washington. He exited off of I-90 at
Sullivan when he heard Zillmer’s car had ended up there after going over spike strips during the
pursuit. He saw patrol cars with their lights on and Zillmer’s car. About three minutes later he
heard shots, but was too far away to see what happened.
Once deputies had cleared Zillmer’s car, he drove down to the scene. He grabbed his
medical pack and approached Zillmer. Deputies were searching him. He helped Deputy
Thurman lift up Zillmer’s plate carrier. He stated he removed two handguns, one from the front
waistband and one from a shoulder holster. Medics came and confirmed Zillmer was deceased.
Sgt. Sherar from the SCSO left the Valley Precinct to assist in trying to locate Zillmer.
He had heard Zillmer was suicidal and wanted cops to kill him, that he had several guns,
including an SKS rifle, as well as having a “plate carrier” or ballistic armor. Radio then updated
that Zillmer said he would not shoot civilians unless police took too long to shoot him. Radio
also advised that Zillmer was an Afghanistan combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient.
Radio advised Zillmer had stopped westbound on Indiana at Sullivan. Sgt. Sherar took
the Sullivan exit and saw Zillmer’s car stopped on the north shoulder of Indiana, just east of the
Sullivan intersection, with a number of patrol cars behind it. Numerous deputies were moving
forward with guns deployed and pointing in Zillmer’s direction. Zillmer was standing on the
driver’s side of his car. Sgt. Sherar said he was too far away to see what was in Zillmer’s hand
but heard over the radio that he had a gun.
Sgt. Sherar blocked the off-ramp to Indiana to keep civilians out of the line of fire. He
could see the Valley Mall shopping center was in full swing with lots of civilians in the area. He
saw Zillmer suddenly get down on his knees while still facing the deputies. He then heard
several gunshots fired simultaneously from the deputies and Zillmer went down.
Deputy Gilbert heard the radio call of an armed suicidal man that wanted police to kill
him. He positioned himself under the Harvard overpass about 7:51 pm when he heard Zillmer
was being pursued from Idaho into Washington. He put out spike strips but the attempt failed.
He then joined in the pursuit, following at a slow speed to keep civilian traffic back in case the
incident ended on I-90 and traffic needed to be stopped. He then proceeded to Sullivan once
Zillmer exited there. He went west on Indiana, past the scene, to try and stop traffic from
coming in that direction.
Deputy Melville heard the call about Zillmer having five guns and wanting police to kill
him. He heard that he was heading towards Idaho, was planning on a shootout with the police,
had a “plate carrier”, or military grade body armor, that he wanted to be shot in the head and
would shoot civilians if the police took too long to shoot. About a half hour later, he heard that
Zillmer was heading back towards Washington State at speeds up to 100 MPH and units were
setting up spike strips. Deputy Melville headed towards Barker and I-90 to wait in case the
spike strips failed.
Deputy Melville saw Zillmer cross under the Barker overpass heading west. He
accelerated after him, joining other pursuing police cars. He saw Zillmer’s left rear tire appeared
to be flat. As they neared Sullivan, he could smell burning rubber. A deputy announced he was
going to try a “PIT” maneuver. The deputy made contact with Zillmer’s car twice, but to no avail.
Someone announced no more Pit attempts.
Zillmer then exited at Sullivan. The stoplight was red and Zillmer stopped behind one or
two cars. Deputy Melville said he stopped behind multiple police cars, with officer exiting with
weapons drawn. He planned on being part of the “Hands” team to arrest Zillmer, so he did not
arm himself with a shotgun or rifle. He ran to the front patrol car and saw Zillmer standing to the
left of his car with a semi-automatic pistol at his chin, wearing military grade body armor. He
then drew his pistol and aimed at Zillmer, who was about 15 yards away. He aimed at his head
until he noticed the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop was in his background. He then aimed at
Zillmer’s right hip to avoid endangering civilians.
Deputy Melville could hear several voices telling Zillmer to drop the weapon, that it
“wasn’t worth it”, to “talk about it.” Zillmer continued to hold the pistol at his chin. He heard
Zillmer say “I don’t want to live after this.” Zillmer reached up and removed his hat with his left
hand. Zillmer looked down to his left and laughed, then looked ahead. He said, “I’m going to
take my vest off to give you a better shot.” He said something like, “You’re going to have to
shoot me in the chest.” Deputy Melville said he recalled Zillmer saying, “I don’t want to live after
this.” Zillmer released the Velcro panel on the front of the plate carrier with his left hand.
Zillmer then knelt on the ground and using his left hand began lifting the plate carrier
upwards. Deputy Melville lost sight of Zillmer’s head and gun, so he lowered his pistol to “low
ready” so he could see better. A few seconds later, Deputy Melville heard a single gunshot,
then multiple others. Zillmer fell to the ground. Sgt. Ellis then ordered two groups of four to
approach Zillmer from different angles. Deputy Melville was in one group and announced he
was the “hands guy.” Someone said to be careful of explosives so they backed off, then went
back in 30 seconds later.
Deputy Melville saw that both of Zillmer’s hands were under his plate carrier. He
grabbed Zillmer’s right arm and pulled it out, placing a handcuff on it. Deputy Thurman pulled
out Zillmer’s left hand and held it in place for Melville to cuff. Deputy Melville could see the
pistol that Zillmer had been holding was lying in a pool of blood by his head. Deputy Melville
stated there was a small pistol in a nylon holster in Zillmer’s waistband above his belt buckle
and another pistol in a pouch attached to the plate carrier. There was a large pistol ammunition
magazine lying on the ground in front of Zillmer and another standard sized pistol magazine on
the ground behind his back.
Deputy Bohanek was working a two-man patrol unit with Deputy Hubbell. They were
checking I-90 between Evergreen and State Line at about 7:19 am, after hearing all the radio
broadcasts of Zillmer’s intentions, trying to find Zillmer. At about 7:50 pm, Idaho State Police
said they were pursuing Zillmer westbound on I-90. They positioned themselves at the Liberty
Lake westbound on-ramp. They could see the pursuit heading towards them. They joined in
and were behind Deputy Moyer. Deputy Moyer requested someone else to take the lead in the
pursuit as he was in a Ford Excursion. Deputy Bohanek took over the lead, going about 85
Deputy Bohanek saw Zillmer drive over spike strips at Barker Road. It looked like both
of Zillmer’s right side tires were deflating. They slowed to about 50 MPH and Deputy Bohanek
tried a PIT maneuver but was unsuccessful. He got in position a second time. Zillmer suddenly
applied his brakes and Deputy Bohanek passed him. Deputy Bohanek could see inside
Zillmer’s car and that he was wearing a vest. He decided to call off any Pit maneuvers due to
the danger involved tactically to other deputies.
As they approached Sullivan Rd., both of Zillmer’s right side tires appeared to be falling
apart and smoking. Zillmer slowed to about 40 MPH and exited at Sullivan. Zillmer stopped at
Sullivan Road. Deputy Bohanek was right behind him. Zillmer was behind a pickup. The light
turned green, the pickup drove off, but Zillmer remained stopped.
Deputy Bohanek got out of his car and took a position behind his patrol car door, yelling
for Zillmer to show his hands. Zillmer pushed his door open with his left hand. Zillmer got out
and stood facing Deputy Bohanek, holding a pistol to his neck and chin. Zillmer was visibly
upset and crying. Deputy Bohanek, as well as other officers, was yelling at Zillmer to drop his
weapon. Zillmer still had his vest on. Zillmer did not put down his weapon. Sgt. Ellis took over
as the primary person speaking to Zillmer. Sgt. Ellis was calmly speaking to him, telling Zillmer
he would offer him any assistance he needed to deal with whatever issues he had. At one point
Zillmer said, “What can you do for me?” Zillmer continued to cry and appear despondent.
After several minutes, Zillmer said he was removing his vest. He went to his knees and
began undoing the Velcro straps on the left side. He lifted the front panel of the vest away from
his body. Deputy Bohanek could see what looked like a pocket on the bottom of the back side
of the front panel. It looked like it contained an item but he could not make it out. Zillmer still
had the pistol in his right hand to his chin. Zillmer then reached into the pocket on his vest.
Multiple deputies then fired their weapons. Zillmer fell to the ground.
Sgt. Ellis of the SCSO had been listening to all the dispatch reports on Zillmer since they
started at 7:”05 pm. He joined in the pursuit as Zillmer passed the Liberty Lake exit. He heard
radio advise Zillmer had hit a spike strip. At 7:59 Deputies Bohanek and Hubbell said they were
going to attempt a Pit maneuver. They said they could see that Zillmer had a “tac vest” on. Sgt.
Ellis advised them to end the pursuit to avoid them getting into a crossfire situation after the PIT
maneuver. Sgt. Ellis requested a SWAT response.
Zillmer exited at Sullivan and then went west on Indiana near Sullivan, stopping just east
of the intersection. They were close to the Valley Mall, with numerous people in the area, both
on foot and in cars. As he pulled up, one of the other units advised Zillmer had a gun. Sgt. Ellis
grabbed his AR-15 and moved up to where the front three patrol cars were. Numerous officers
were giving Zillmer commands to drop the gun.
Sgt. Ellis could see that Zillmer was standing near the rear of his car, holding a gun to
his chin, wearing what appeared to be a combat ballistic vest. He appeared to be crying, but
was not complying with the commands to drop his gun. Sgt. Ellis took over as the sole person
talking to Zillmer. He said he spoke in a calm tone to try and deescalate the situation. He said
over about a three minute period he asked Zillmer repeatedly to drop the gun and talk to him,
that they did not want to hurt him and would get him whatever help he needed.
Zillmer mostly just stared past him. Sgt. Ellis said he lowered his rifle to further
deescalate things, and continued to ask him what was wrong and that they would get him help.
He asked what branch of the service he had served in and Zillmer said the Army. He said he
heard he had served in Afghanistan and Zillmer appeared to nod. Sgt. Ellis continued to ask
him to drop the gun and that everything was going to be ok.
Zillmer then began to stare past him again and dropped to his knees, still holding the
gun to his chin. He said something about his vest and began pulling the front part of the vest
away from the front of his body. Sgt. Ellis said he told him multiple times to stop and drop the
gun. Zillmer then reached his left hand under his vest and placed his hand into an inside vest
pocket. It looked like he was trying to remove an object from inside. There were then multiple
gunshots and Zillmer fell to the ground.
Sgt. Lawson heard all the broadcast information from dispatch about Zillmer. He and
other Valley units went to Zip’s in the valley to look for Zillmer when it was said he was at a
Zip’s, but he was no there. While heading towards his house for a break, Sgt. Lawson heard
that Zillmer was being chased by Coeur d’Alene police westbound on I-90. He drove to Liberty
Lake Drive and I-90 and parked at the roundabout, readying himself to deploy spike strips.
Zillmer drove by and Sgt. Lawson joined the pursuit.
He heard that Zillmer exited at Sullivan and had a tac vest on. Sgt. Lawson exited and
parked at the back of the pack of police cars on Indiana. He ran up to the front and saw Zillmer
with a pistol in his right hand under his jaw. Sgt. Lawson aimed his pistol at Zillmer’s upper
thigh, since he had a vest on, from behind the driver’s side door of a Valley Police SUV. Sgt.
Lawson was concerned that Zillmer would lower his pistol and start shooting based on
everything Zillmer had said previously.
Zillmer dropped to his knees. Sgt. Lawson felt that Zillmer had resolved to do something
drastic at this point, preparing himself to die. He heard Zillmer say something about his vest,
and it was his impression that Zillmer was saying he was going to take off his vest so they would
have a better shot at him. The vest started lifting, exposing Zillmer’s stomach area. The pistol
in Zillmer’s right hand lowered a little but was not pointed at the deputies. Zillmer started to
place his right hand and pistol under the vest as if to raise it over his head when there was a
quick volley of shots from Sgt. Lawson’s right. Zillmer fell backwards.
Sgt. Lawson joined several other officers in approaching Zillmer. They could not see his
hands and he was not responding to commands to show his hands. He was still breathing so
they moved back a few feet. Deputy Hubbell positioned himself on the right side of Zillmer’s car
and said he could see Zillmer’s right hand. They approached again.
When Zillmer was rolled over onto his side, Sgt. Lawson could see he was still gripping
the pistol in his right. Sgt. Lawson put on a glove and removed the pistol. Someone lifted the
vest and removed about two more pistols and loaded spare pistol magazines. Sgt. Lawson
removed unspent shotgun shells and pistol rounds from Zillmer’s right front pants pocket.
Deputy Hilton exited Sullivan and positioned his patrol car behind Zillmer’s driver’s side,
the front left. Deputy Hilton armed himself with an AR-15. Deputy Vucinich, his partner, armed
himself with a shotgun. Deputy Hilton positioned himself on the driver’s side door of his car,
whole Deputy Vucinich positioned himself nest to Deputy Thurman’s car. Zillmer was sitting in
his car looking straight ahead. Several officers were giving him commands to show his hands.
Zillmer slowly opened his door and stepped out with his back to the patrol cars. He slowly
turned around and faced the officers, with a black handgun in his left had pointed towards his
Zillmer slowly walked back towards the rear driver’s side tire of his car and began to say
something. He appeared to be crying and had a thousand yard stare. Deputy Lawson could
hear Sgt. Ellis asking Zillmer to put his gun down, that it did not have to be like this, that they
would get him the help he wanted. He heard Zillmer say “What can you do for me? It has to be
this way.” Zillmer then slowly went to his knees and said “I’m taking my vest off.”
Zillmer then reached down, still with a gun pointed to his head, and released the side
vest strap with his left hand. He used his left hand and moved the vest towards his face,
covering it. Deputy Lawson could still see Zillmer’s right hand and noticed the barrel of the gun
under his jaw. Zillmer then began reaching under his vest with his left hand. Deputy Lawson
heard yelling from his right, the several gunshots from his right. Zillmer fell to his right.
Sgt. Lawson assisted in approaching Zillmer and securing him with handcuffs. Deputy
Thurman removed Zillmer’s vest. As Zillmer’s left hand was removed from the vest, Sgt.
Lawson saw a second handgun where Zillmer’s left hand had been. Deputy Thurman removed
it, as well as a third handgun in a black holster in the front waistband of Zillmer’s jeans.
Officer Jones of the Liberty Lake Police Department assisted in the pursuit, exiting at
Sullivan. He parked about five or six patrol cars behind Zillmer. He grabbed his patrol rifle and
positioned himself behind Deputy Hilton’s car at the driver’s side door. He saw Zillmer exit his
red Honda with a gun in his hand holding it under his chin. Zillmer had on a black military style
balaclava over his head and a camouflaged military vest. Zillmer pulled the balaclava off his
head. Deputies were telling him not to do it, to put down the gun, it ain’t worth it. He saw
Zillmer go down to his knees and start taking off his vest with his left hand. Officer Jones said
he had prior military experience and recognized the type of vest Zillmer was wearing. He
thought he was “going for a gun, or maybe even to detonate the vest or something.” He felt
Zillmer was going to “force us to do something.” He thought he was going to shoot at them.
Someone was yelling, “Watch it, watch it, watch it.” Shots were then fired and Zillmer fell.
Sgt. Arnold of the WSP exited at Sullivan and I-90 to assist. Zillmer was on his knees
and had on a camouflaged vest. He had a black handgun in his right hand pointed at his chin.
Officers were giving commands to put down the gun. Zillmer reached under his vest with his left
hand while still pointing the gun at his chin with his right hand. It looked like he was reaching for
something under the vest. He thought Zillmer was reaching for a gun. He thought he looked
very determined and was not removing his vest to give up. He could hear an officer on his right
saying to “put the gun down and show me your hands.” As Zillmer began to remove his left
hand from underneath the vest, several shots came from the right. Zillmer slumped over in the
Trooper Power assisted in the pursuit on I-90. He exited at Sullivan and parked in the
row back on the left side of the roadway. Zillmer exited his red Honda and stood near his
driver’s side door. Trooper Power got his AR-15 and went up to the first line of patrol cars,
positioning himself between the center and far left patrol cars. Zillmer had a gun in his right
hand pointing at his chin. Officers were commanding him to drop the gun. Zillmer got down on
his knees and said he was going to unzip something. His left hand went under his vest just
above his waist. It looked like he unzipped something, and then was trying to get something out
from under the vest. As his left began to come out from under the vest, multiple shots were
fired from Trooper Power’s right. Zillmer fell back.
Deputy Olson said he was part of the pursuit from Liberty Lake to Sullivan. He exited his
patrol SUV and moved to the passenger side doorway of Deputy Hubbell’s patrol car. Deputy
Olson said he was watching Zillmer’s left hand as he moved the vest. He felt Zillmer was doing
more than just taking off the vest, but was digging for something.
Deputy Spitzer said he was Zillmer undoing his vest with his left hand. He lost sight of
the gun in Zillmer’s right hand as Zillmer lifted the vest. He thought Zillmer was doing more than
trying to take off his vest but was reaching for a gun.
Investigation indicated that Deputy Thurman fired three rounds from his AR-15, Deputy
Walter fired four rounds from his AR-15, Deputy Hubbell fired four rounds from his AR-15,
Deputy Hirzel fired four rounds from his .45 pistol, Deputy Moyer fired two rounds from his
shotgun and Deputy Watts fired one round from his AR-15.
An inventory of Zillmer’s weapons at the Property Room showed he had a .40 caliber
Glock, a .380 semi-auto Ruger handgun, a 9mm Taurus handgun, which was in a damaged and
dismantled condition, apparently from an explosive event, with a 9mm Luger cartridge stuck in
the chamber end of the barrel. There was a bullet hole on the right side towards the rear of the
silver stainless steel slide and it is believed that it is this bullet strike that caused the gun to
explode. Evidence recovered at the autopsy and at the scene and at Zillmer’s car indicates this
9mm handgun was fired at least one time by Zillmer.
A search of Zillmer’s car found a SKS rifle, as well as a spare clip for it, and a Mossberg
12 gauge shotgun. The SKS clip in the rifle had 20 live 7.62 x 39 rounds and a single spent
shell casing in the chamber. The spare SKS clip had 21 rounds of ammunition. The shotgun
had one shell in the firing chamber and 5 shells in a side carrier on the stock. There was also a
bullet strike near the left rear quarter panel, with a fragmented bullet found in the trunk.
Analysis was done on this bullet, but it was too fragmented to determine its caliber. However,
investigating Det. Ben Estes feels it is consistent with a 9mm caliber and based on its trajectory,
could only have come from Jedadiah Zilllmer’s hand gun, as he was the only person armed with
a 9mm. The direction would have been towards Deputy Moyer.
Carol Gonzales said she was heading home around 8 pm in her truck going eastbound
on Indiana just west of Sullivan. A police car pulled in front of her with its lights on and blocked
the road just past the light. There were cars on either side of her and the police car was right in
front of her. She saw lots of flashing lights in the intersection. Her windows were rolled up and
she could not hear anything. She saw someone walking southbound away from the flashing
lights on the south side of Indiana. All the police lights were on him. He was just standing
there. The next thing she heard was gunshots. She said she could not tell what he was
wearing or if he was armed.
Katie Zillmer told police that Jedadiah, her husband, had served in the military and had
been shot on February 17, 2011 in Afghanistan. She felt he had PTSD and trouble controlling
his emotions. He had trouble sleeping and had difficulties when he drank alcohol, getting angry.
He was seeing a VA counselor but felt that the counselor made him feel that his situation was
not as serious as others.
On the day of the incident, her husband told her while they were separated he had an
affair. She told him she wanted to stay with her parents to “think about it.” They exchanged
texts through the day and Jed did not seem angry. She returned to the home later that day to
pick up some things and noticed Jed had been drinking Captain Morgan’s Rum. Jed was upset
that he had betrayed her trust and was angry that she was going to her parents. She said his
anger had hopelessness about it. She decided to leave so as to not make matters worse.
Katie said she went to her marriage counselor and told her she feared for Jed’s safety
due to the way he was acting. He had talked about taking his own life in the past. Jed had
also the day before given her a list of all his passwords for paying bills, banking, facebook…
She called Jed several times. She could tell he was intoxicated and tried to convince him to stay
home and not drive. She also got Jed’s cousin to call him and try to convince him to stay home.
Jed eventually told her to call the police or he would. He told her he loved her and hung up.
She called the police.
Alle McGriff was in the front passenger seat of her car with her boyfriend Levi Zoesch
driving. They were eastbound on I-90, saw police lights and out of curiosity pulled off of I-90 at
Sullivan. They were in the turning lane on the south east side of the street at Sullivan and
Indiana. She saw a man with a gun pointed at his head. He was on the driver’s side of his car.
She heard police saying “stop or don’t or something like that.” The man kept shaking his head
back and forth. They backed up to try and continue north on Sullivan, and got in the northbound
lane of Sullivan, but Levi refused to go further because he thought they would be in the line of
fire. She looked away and then heard gunshots. The man was then lying on the ground.
Melanie Frankhart was on her way home from eastbound I-90 and Sullivan. She went
northbound on Sullivan and was beginning to turn east onto Indiana from Sullivan. She saw a
ton of cops and a man on his knees. The man started to mess with his vest. He was next to a
small red Hond. He was fumbling with his vest and opening it pretty aggressively. Five or ten
seconds later the police opened fire. She never saw the man with a gun but assumed he had
Melanie Loup was driving her Celica with her ex-boyfriend Charles Hall in the front
passenger seat. They were driving down Indiana from the Flora roundabout. As they got to
Sullivan and Indiana they were blocked by numerous cop cars. When they got towards the
traffic light, traffic was stopped. They ended up directly south of Zillmer’s car. She saw a man
kneeling by his open car door. She thought his hands were up in the air but could not tell what
he was doing. The police were behind their cars. Then shots were fired.
Charles Hall said they were back from the light about 40 or 50 feet and about 40 or 50
yards from Zillmer’s car. A man was crouched down next to the driver’s side door, facing all of
the police behind him. He could see the man moving but not details. He then heard gunshots
and the man fell.
Sara Standow said her family was at the Wendy’s on Barker. They saw several police
cars heading west on I-90. Her father suggested they go see what was happening. They
followed and exited to go southbound on Sullivan. She saw a man standing outside his car and
then kneel. He took off his hat and then the police shot about twelve times. She did not see
what prompted the shooting. She was seated behind her dad who was driving.
Kaitlyn Standow, Sara’s sister, said she was seated in the rear passenger seat. She
saw a man outside his car with a gun to his chin. She had her window halfway down and could
hear police telling the man to put the gun down. She then began filming with her phone. The
man then knelt down. He lowered his gun and she could not see it anymore. She said it
appeared the man was putting on a coat by the way he moved. She then heard shot and the
man fell down to the ground.
Brian Standow said he, his wife and two daughters were at Wendy’s on Barker Rd.
They saw all the police go by and he decided to go ambulance chasing. They exited at Sullivan.
He veered left to go southbound on Sullivan. All traffic was stopped and the police were
blocking the ramp in front and behind him. He was looking across in front of his wife and could
see a man with a gun to his chin. He heard officers yelling “Don’t do it, don’t do it.” He never
heard the man say anything. The man went down to his knees. It looked like he was removing
his body armor. He said the police then shot him. He said he did not see the man point a gun
at the police, but said it was possible he did not see it.
Katrina Standow said she saw a man outside of his car with a gun to his chin. She could
hear officers trying to get him to surrender. He went to his knees and she could not see his gun
anymore. A few minutes later she heard at least 12 gunshots. She said due to the distance she
could not see everything the man was doing. She says her opinion differs from her husbands –
he thought it was excessive and she thought the police did not have any choice.
Deputy Thurman was travelling on Argonne approaching Sprague about 7:15 pm when
radio broadcast the information about Jedadiah Zillmer being armed and wanting to die by
suicide by cop. He checked CAD and learned Zillmer wanted police to kill him and that he had
five guns. Zillmer advised he was going to have shootout and had a loaded gun and an SKS.
Zillmer said he had a plate carrier vest and wanted to be shot in the head. He said he would
shoot into the air until police shot him. If they took too long, he would shoot citizens. Deputy
Thurman learned that Zillmer was a trained combat veteran.
Eventually Deputy Thurman joined the I-90 pursuit at Barker Rd. He had heard that
Zillmer had been up to speeds of over 90 MPH. He saw that he had driven over spike strips as
his right front tire was peeling off and smoking. He saw Deputy Bohanek attempt a PIT
maneuver but Zillmer slammed on his brakes. The PIT was called off and radio broadcast that
Zillmer was wearing a tactical vest.
Zillmer exited at Sullivan the turned west on Indiana where he came to a stop behind
multiple cars at a red light. Deputy Bohanek was worried that Zillmer might attempt a carjacking
or take hostages. Deputy Thurman offset his patrol car to the left of Deputy Bohanek and
Deputy Hubbell to conduct a felony stop and try to prevent Zillmer from harming any citizens.
He was about 25 to 35 yards behind Zillmer’s car.
Zillmer got out of his car. He was wearing a military tactical vest. He had a black hood
on his head exposing only his eyes. He was holding a black semi-auto pistol under his chin with
his right hand. He was directly facing them. Deputy Thurman armed himself with his AR-15.
Deputy Thurman felt he had probable cause to arrest Zillmer for Eluding and assault, as well as
probable cause to detain him for a mental evaluation. He also feared he posed an immediate
threat to all the police at the scene and would cause serious injuries or death if given the
chance. There were also many businesses and citizens in the immediate area who were in
Deputy Thurman said he pointed his rifle at Zillmer’s head and began commanding him
to drop his gun. Zillmer did not comply and had a blank stare on his face. He told Zillmer to put
down the gun, it was not worth it and we could figure this all out. He said “come on brother
don’t do this.” Zillmer then removed the hood from his head. Deputy Thurman said he
continued to yell at Zillmer to put down the gun.
Deputy Thurman said he was worried for his safety as Zillmer removed his hood as he
knew from his training that action will always beat reaction, meaning Zillmer could get off a shot
before he could react to it, giving him the tactical advantage. Zillmer quickly removed the hood
and placed the gun back under his chin. Deputy Thurman felt at this point he would be justified
in using deadly force due to him sill refusing to drop his gun. He said he did not because he
wanted to give Zillmer every chance to make the right decision and end this peacefully.
Deputy Thurman then heard Sgt. Ellis giving Zillmer commands and decided to end his
communication with Zillmer so only one person was speaking to Zillmer. Sgt. Ellis was telling
Zillmer that we could all work this out and to drop the gun. Zillmer dropped his left hand and
started unstrapping his vest. Deputy Thurman said he yelled at Zillmer to stop and show his
hands as he did not know what his intentions were. The gun in Zillmer’s right hand would drop
while he was doing this. This concerned Deputy Thurman due to Zillmer’s unwillingness to drop
Zillmer then unstrapped his vest with his left hand and held the gun to his chin with his
right. It looked to Deputy Thurman like he was unstrapping his vest to gain access to other
weapons. Zillmer then dropped to his knees. Zillmer then began lifting his vest up as if he was
attempting to get something. The gun in his right hand was moving around. Deputy Thurman
yelled for other deputies to watch that hand. Zillmer then moved his left hand inside the vest out
of view to what appeared to be an inner pocket. Deputy Thurman feared he was either reaching
for a gun, was going to detonate an IED or had a grenade. Deputy Thurman said he feared for
his life, as well as other deputies and nearby civilians, so he fired three rounds at Zillmer’s head
to stop the imminent threat he felt he was posing. Zillmer fell to the ground.
Deputy Thurman was one of the officers that approached once they felt it was safe.
Zillmer’s left hand was still inside of his vest. His right hand was still on the firearm on the
ground. Deputy Thurman took control of Zillmer’s left hand, which was under his vest next to a
handgun inside a vest pocket where he had been reaching. Deputy Thurman assisted Deputy
Melville in handcuffing Zillmer. Deputy Thurman rolled Zillmer over and removed a gun from his
left side which was in a sewed-in holster in the vest near the area where his hand was digging.
It appeared to have been struck by rounds from deputies as it fell apart when Deputy Thurman
removed it. Deputy Thurman also removed a small black handgun from Zillmer’s front
waistband, as well as some extended magazines from a shoulder holster on Zillmer’s right side.
Deputy Hubbell was working the Spokane Valley in a two man car with Deputy
Bohanek. He heard dispatch advise around 7:19 pm that Jedadiah Zillmer was a suicidal
subject heading eastbound on I-90 from the Sprague exit. He was heavily armed and wanted to
be shot by law enforcement. He had an SKS rifle and said he wanted to be shot in the head
and would shoot in the air until police shot him. He said “he didn’t plan on shooting civilians
unless we took too long to shoot him” and that he was a military veteran. They looked for
Zillmer from Evergreen Rd to Stateline but did not see him. They cleared the call around 7:39
At 7:46 pm dispatch said Kootenai County was chasing Zillmer westbound on I-90.
Zillmer was going about 90 mph. Deputy Hubbell and Bohanek went to the Liberty Lake exit to
assist in case Zillmer came back into Washington. Deputy Moyer broadcast that he was behind
Zillmer westbound from Stateline, going about 90 mph. Deputies Hubbell and Bohanek joined
in the pursuit at 7:56 pm. They took over primary position in the pursuit because Deputy Moyer
was in a SUV. They could see Zillmer reaching into the passenger seat several times.
Between Liberty Lake and Barker Rd. it appeared that Zillmer hit spike strips that had
been laid out by other deputies. Zillmer’s passenger side tires were deflating and he was
slowing down. Deputy Bohanek tried a PIT maneuver. The first attempt failed. On the second
attempt, Deputy Hubbell could see Zillmer was wearing a bulletproof vest and broadcast that to
all units. As they came up on Zillmer he slammed on the brakes and swerved back and forth to
avoid the PIT. They backed off.
Zillmer exited at Sullivan and drove west on Indiana. Deputies Bohanek and Hubbell
were right behind him. Zillmer pulled up behind a pickup at the intersection of Indiana and
Sullivan. Deputy Hubbell got out with his rifle, concerned for all the citizens stopped at the
intersection. Other deputies were giving commands for Zillmer to show his hands. Zillmer
showed his left hand then got out of his car. He turned to face them and had a pistol in his right
hand pointed towards his chin. He had on a vest and a balaclava covering his face.
Sgt. Ellis took over talking to Zillmer. Zillmer removed his balaclava. Zillmer went from
very intent, to angry, to almost crying. Zillmer then said something like “I’m tired” and went
down on his knees, the pistol still under his chin. Zillmer said, “I’m going to take this off.” He
then started to undo his vest with his left hand. He then pushed his left hand under the inside of
the vest and pushed it to the right. This shielded Zillmer’s face and right hand with the pistol
from Deputy Hubbell’s view. Deputy Hubbell was worried Zillmer was moving the pistol around.
He then saw Zillmer tuck his left hand into a pocket inside the vest, moving back and forth as if
trying to grab something. His left hand clinched as if he had grabbed something in the pocket
and he started to remove his hand from the pocket. Zillmer did not comply with Sgt. Ellis’s
commands to show his hands and put down the gun. Zillmer was no longer talking. Deputy
Hubbell felt that Zillmer had decided to use the weapon at that point.
Deputy Hubbell said he feared Zillmer had obtained another weapon, plus he could not
see where the gun in his right hand was. Deputy Hubbell made the decision to use deadly force
because he feared for his safety, the safety of other deputies, and the safety of nearby civilians,
given the previous statements Zillmer had made and that it looked like he was going to use his
guns. He said he shot about four times. He looked in Zillmer’s car afterwards and saw a rifle
and a shotgun in the back seat, and an empty bottle of Captain Morgan’s rum on the front
Deputy Hirzel first heard the broadcast at 7:05 pm about a suicidal subject who was
heavily armed and wanted to confront law enforcement. The man Zillmer had five guns and
was driving a red Honda with Purple Heart license plates. Further information came out that
Zillmer was ex-military and was wearing a “plate carrier.” He had an SKS and was not planning
on shooting civilians unless police took too long to shoot him.
Deputy Hirzel said he went to the area of Barker and I-90 to assist when he heard
Zillmer was heading back from Idaho. He saw the pursuit pass him and joined in. Zillmer exited
at Sullivan. Several units were in front of Deputy Hirzel. He got out and took a position by a
County marked SUV that was right behind Zillmer’s car. Deputy Hitzel said he was to the right
of the SUV and to the right of Deputy Moyer, who was standing behind the passenger door of
the SUV. Deputy Hirzel said he was afraid Zillmer might harm nearby civilians or flee to the
nearby mall or hotels.
Zillmer was outside of his car with a balaclava on, a ballistic vest and a gun in his right
hand pointed at his chin. Zillmer removed the balaclava and appeared to be crying and
distraught. Officers were yelling at him to drop the gun. Sgt. Ellis then began talking to Zillmer
in a calmer voice, saying it would be OK and to put the gun down.
Zillmer took his left hand and unstrapped the left side of his vest. Deputy Hirzel could
see a handgun on Zillmer’s left side, as well as the one Zillmer was holding with his right hand
held to his chin. Zillmer then lifted his vest high enough that Deputy Hirzel said he could see the
inside portion. Zillmer placed his left hand in an inside vest pocket. He opened the pocket and
put his hand deep inside. Deputy Hirzel was confident Zillmer was reaching for a weapon to
shoot at them. Zillmer then kept his hand in the pocket and lifted the vest up so that it was level
with the officers directly in front of him, as if pointing a gun at them. Deputy Hirzel said he
feared for his life, and the lives of other officers and civilians in the area, so he fired his .45
caliber pistol. Zillmer turned to his left and fell to the ground.
Deputy Walter drove to the Idaho state line in search of Zillmer when he first heard the
call. He discontinued when he heard Zillmer was in Idaho. When he heard that Zillmer was
heading back towards Washington, he stopped his patrol car on the I-90 Westbound Barker on-
ramp. He placed a spike strip on the middle lane of I-90. Zillmer drove over it. He heard
Zillmer was now taking the Sullivan exit and drove there. He pulled behind numerous other
patrol cars. He took at his rifle and went to the patrol car just behind and east of Zillmer’s car.
He could see Zillmer was wearing a ballistic vest, Deputy Walter stood next to Deputy
Bohanik on the driver’s side of a patrol SUV. Sgt. Ellis was giving verbal commands for Zillmer
to drop the gun, which he had held to his chin. Zillmer then dropped to his knees and began to
unstrap his vest. Zillmer pulled the front flap up into the air revealing his chest and he reached
into an inside front vest compartment. It looked to Deputy Walter like possibly the handle of
another pistol. As Zillmer was trying to pull the item out, the pistol in his right hand started to
drop from pointing up in the air to towards Deputy Walter and the other deputies.
Deputy Walter said he felt it was the action of someone ready to engage in a shootout
and that Zillmer was intending to use the firearms. Deputy Walter decided he needed to protect
his fellow officers and any citizens in the area. He fired his rifle at center mass and slightly
downward as he felt that was the safest angle to protect nearby citizens from any potential stray
Deputy Moyer was westbound west of Liberty Lake on I-90 when he first heard the call
about Zillmer. He later set up at I-90 and Barker to monitor east bound traffic when they were
looking for Zillmer’s red Honda. He saw numerous patrol cars go by with their emergency lights
on heading east. He exited onto I-90 and joined in the search until dispatch said the Honda was
Deputy Moyer said he reviewed all he had been told up to that point – a suicidal man,
armed with an SKS rifle, wearing a plate carrier. He said he knew an SKS had bullets that could
penetrate his patrol car and a plate carrier could stop bullets from his handgun and possibly his
AR-15 rifle. Zillmer had said he wanted to shoot it out with cops. Given Zillmer’s military
background and training, and statements of suicide, Deputy Moyer felt he needed to locate
Zillmer to check on his welfare and ensure the safety of others.
He looked around the Stateline area. He did not find Zillmer. As he was driving onto the
I-90 westbound he heard Zillmer was heading west form Post Falls on I-90. Deputy Moyer set
up at the weigh station. He put on his plate carrier due to Zillmer having an SKS. He saw
numerous emergency vehicles heading in his direction. He then saw the red Honda Civic in the
westbound passing lane at a high rate of speed. Deputy Moyer exited and took over the pursuit
from the Idaho officers. Deputy Moyer got up to 90 MPH.
Deputy Moyer said Zillmer was swerving back and forth in a reckless manner. He saw
Zillmer lean over to the passenger side, then back up and saw the outline of a rifle barrel in his
right hand. It looked like Zillmer put it in the back seat. Deputy Moyer asked for more patrol
cars as he was in a patrol SUV and not pursuit rated. Spokane Valley police cars passed him
and took over the lead in the pursuit. Spike strips were laid out and the second set worked,
slowing Zillmer down. He exited at Sullivan.
Deputy Moyer said he decided he would ram Zillmer’s car if he made it to the
intersection of Sullivan and Indiana due to his concern for the safety of the community and other
officers, so that Zillmer would not make it to the Valley Mall. Zillmer slowed and stopped just
before the intersection, at a red light. There were several cars in front of him and Deputy Moyer
was concerned about those people given Zillmer’s statement that he might shoot civilians. As
Deputy Moyer was driving around several patrol cars, he saw Zillmer get out of his car. Deputy
Moyer parked near the lead patrol car and got out with his 12 gauge shotgun.
Zillmer was wearing a tactical vest and holding a pistol in his right hand to his chin.
Zillmer walked towards the lead patrol car. The patrol cars had their spotlights on Zillmer so the
area was well lit. Officers were commanding Zillmer or stop and put the gun down. Deputy
Moyer said he took up a position next to Deputy Olson on the passenger side of the lead patrol
vehicle. Deputy Moyer had his shotgun pointed at Zillmer’s head due to the body armor he was
wearing. Sgt. Ellis took over trying to establish a rapport with Zillmer, saying they would get him
some help and that it was not worth it. Zillmer laughed strangely.
Zillmer was about 15 to 20 feet away. Deputy Moyer said Zillmer made eye contact with
him several times. Deputy Moyer felt he was picking out targets of opportunity based on his
military experience and mental status. Deputy Moyer was thinking about action vs. reaction in
that someone can act before someone else can react. He thought that if the barrel of Zillmer’s
pistol moved towards himself or other officers, he would react with deadly force.
Zillmer then took his left hand and pulled on the left strap of his body armor opening the
left side and exposing his upper torso. Zillmer reached into an inside pocket on the left side of
the vest and was trying to pull something out. Deputy Moyer said he did not know if it was
another weapon or an explosive device but that it put him in fear for his safety, the safety of
other officers, and the safety of nearby civilians.
Deputy Moyer said Zillmer was still not complying with commands and was still moving
the vest around to get an object out of the pocket. Deputy Moyer said he was focused on the
pistol in Zimmer’s right hand when Zillmer’s head suddenly turned in his direction and the barrel
of the pistol was now visible to Deputy Moyer as Zillmer rotated it while still at his chin. Deputy
Myer said he was in fear for his life, as well as the lives of other officers given how close they
were, so he fired his shotgun at Zillmer’s upper torso neck area. He heard simultaneous shots
from other officers. Zillmer went down.
Deputy Watts was dispatched to assist in the suicidal male call at 7:05 pm. He heard all
the pertinent information about what Zillmer wanted to do. He initially stopped when he heard
that Zillmer had gone into Idaho. When he heard he was now heading back to Washington, he
re-engaged and went to the Barker exit to block cars from entering the freeway. The deputy in
pursuit on I-90 asked for additional help since he was driving a patrol SUV that was not pursuit
qualified. Deputy Watts entered I-90 as the pursuit passed. Another deputy said that Zillmer
had a “tac vest on” and an “AK.”
Once Deputy Watts caught up he learned that Zillmer had been successfully spiked.
Zillmer exited at Sullivan. Deputy Watts did as well. He grabbed his AR-15 and went up the
most northwester patrol SUV. He used the passenger side hood to brace against while he
trained his AR-15 at Zillmer’s center mass He was about 20 to 25 feet away. Zillmer had on
what appeared to Deputy Watts, who had just left the military about one year prior, as a Digicam
Flack Jacket with a pistol in his right hand pointed at his chin. He appeared to show a wide
range of emotions.
Deputy Watts said he was greatly concerned for the safety of civilians in the area, as
well as other officers. He decided that if Zillmer pointed his gun at officers, or reached for
another weapon, he would take whatever action was necessary. Sgt. Ellis was trying to coax
Zillmer into putting the gun down. Deputy Watts could tell by Zillmer’s body language that the
situation was deteriorating. Zillmer then dropped to his knees and began to remove his Flak
vest. Deputy Watts said Zillmer’s gun was still in his right hand, but out of sight and most likely
pointed at the other officer given the natural movement of the right hand. Deputy Watts also
thought that a suicidal person who wants to be killed in a gunfight does not begin taking off his
vest before surrendering his gun. Deputy Watts he feared that Zillmer was going to start
Zillmer then deliberately reached under his vest towards an inner pocket with his left
hand. Deputy Watts knew this was one place where backup weapons are kept. It looked like
Zillmer was about to take out the object, which Deputy Watts said he had no doubt was a gun,
and begin shooting. Deputy Watts said he felt he had no choice but to fire. Deputy Watts heard
several more simultaneous shots from multiple officers. Zillmer went down. Deputy Watts said
as a fellow combat veteran, he wanted nothing more than for Zillmer to put down his gun and
survive, but given the circumstances, felt he had no other option than the use of deadly force.
At autopsy, the following items were found on Jedadiah Zillmer: a hard plastic gun
holster on the right side of his belt; a hard plastic magazine holder on the left side of his belt; a
black nylon shoulder holster, with one side having a holster for a handgun, and the other side
having two magazine holders, one of which had a magazine with 9mm hollow point rounds.
Dr. Aiken performed the autopsy. She found 13 bullet entrance wounds. Fibers were
removed from four of the entrance wounds. She removed 10 shotgun pellets from Zillmer’s right
and left shoulder area. She found 5 bullets in his body. A bullet fragment was recovered from
Zillmer’s left hand.
Dr. Aiken found a perforating gunshot to the head, which was fatal; a perforating
gunshot wound to the right arm; two perforating gunshot wounds to the right distal thigh;
shotgun pellet wounds of the left shoulder; a perforating gunshot wound to the left chest; a
perforating gunshot wound to the left chest/trunk; a perforating gunshot wound to the
abdomen/chest; a penetrating gunshot wound to the left hip/back; a tangential graze bullet
defect of the left forearm; a perforating gunshot wound to the left hand; a second perforating
gunshot wound to the left hand; and a penetrating gunshot wound to the left buttock/left hip; a
fragment entrance wound dorsum of left hand.
A toxicology report showed that Mr. Zillmer had a blood alcohol level of .17.
RCW 9A.16.040 controls the analysis when an officer uses deadly force. Homicide or
the use of deadly force is justified under subsection (1)(b) “[w]hen necessarily used by a peace
officer to overcome actual resistance to the execution of the legal process, mandate, or order of
a court or officer, or in the discharge of a legal duty.” Subsection (1)(c) states homicide or the
use of deadly force is justified “[w]hen necessarily used by a peace officer or person acting
under the officer’s command and in the officer’s aid: (i) [t]o arrest or apprehend a person who
the officer reasonably believes has committed, has attempted to commit, is committing, or is
attempting to commit a felony.”
Subsection (2) states that “In considering whether to use deadly force under subsection
1(c) of this section, to arrest or apprehend any person for the commission of any crime, the
peace officer must have probable cause to believe that the suspect, if not apprehended, poses
a threat of serious physical harm to the officer or a threat of serious physical harm to others.
Among the circumstances which may be considered by peace officers as a “threat of serious
physical harm” are the following: (a) The suspect threatens a peace officer with a weapon or
displays a weapon in a manner that could reasonably be construed as threatening; or (b) There
is probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed any crime involving the infliction or
threatened infliction of serious physical harm.”
A probable cause standard is used to scrutinize a decision to use deadly force.
Probable cause is basically having facts and circumstances within an officer’s knowledge to
cause a person of reasonable caution to believe the ultimate fact.
Additionally, subsection (3) states that a “peace officer shall not be held criminally liable
for using deadly force without malice and with a good faith belief that such act is justifiable
pursuant to this section.” Malice means “an evil intent, wish, or design to vex, annoy, or injure
another person.” WPIC 2.13.
The deputies were justified in their use of deadly force. Mr. Zillmer was heavily armed,
wearing a bullet proof vest, and repeatedly stated that he wanted to engage law enforcement
and force them to shoot him, even stating that he would shoot civilians if law enforcement took
too long. He was involved in a high speed pursuit on a heavily travelled interstate, endangering
both the officers and others. He stopped in an area where there were many civilians, with
access to a nearby shopping mall, as well as numerous law enforcement officers.
Officers gave him numerous opportunities to end this peacefully. When shot, he
appeared to the officers to be reaching with his left hand for a weapon inside his vest, while still
holding a weapon in his right hand. A weapon was found in the vest area where he was seen
reaching. Officers clearly had probable cause to believe Mr. Zillmer posed a threat of serious
physical harm to officers and civilians alike. He was armed with a pistol that he refused to put
down, had access to many others and stated an intent to use them if not stopped.
Officers were acting in a good faith belief that their use of deadly force was justified,
without malice or evil intent. No criminal liability attaches and no charges will be filed.
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