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Church Leader Laments ‘Violence at Our Doorstep’ After Man Shot by Police in Arson Probe


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News brief by Tracy Simmons | FāVS News

A man was shot and killed by police near West Central Abbey late Sunday.

The unnamed man was shot after he discharged a firearm when officers tried to apprehend him in connection with an arson investigation.

Rev. Katy Shedlock /Contributed

The Rev. Katy Shedlock, of the abbey, released a statement to the church community about the shooting.

“I am especially gutted that this violence occurred a mere 12 hours after our joyful celebration of new life and resurrection. The confetti from our egg hunt is still in the grass. The alleluias have barely left our lips, and the violence of our world has returned to our doorstep,” she wrote. “Most outrageous and heartbreaking to me is the fact that taking this life has solved absolutely nothing about the systemic problems in our neighborhood with insufficient housing, drug addiction, and lack of care for the elderly, all of which are likely factors in this tragedy.”

The church will host a special service in response to the shooting on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. during their regular Dinner Table event.  

“This morning I walked over and placed the Easter flowers from our altar on the sidewalk where this person was shot and killed. To be people of faith means we will do our human best to respond with love. I ask that you join me in prayer for both the person who died and the people who took his life. We will continue to cultivate justice, joy, compassion, and peace in the heart of our neighborhood. In a Good Friday world, we will be Easter people in both our words and our actions,” Shedlock wrote.

Emergency responders were called to a home at 1820 W. Dean Ave. about 10 p.m. Sunday when a neighbor reported the fire. Police and firefighters removed multiple people from the home, according to the news release. The couple who lived in the home were not there at the time.

According to the Spokesman-Review, officials on scene suspected the fire may have been intentionally set and began interviewing witnesses when an uncooperative man attempted to leave the scene and fired a gun. In response, two officers discharged their firearms.

After he was disarmed, officers treated him, but he died on the scene, police said. 

Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of FāVS.News, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.

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