Saturday, July 12, 2014

System failure..........

"This is a really horrible incident but it doesn't appear anyone did anything out of policy," stated Monique Cotton, a spokesperson for the Spokane police department.

On Monday, July 7 2014, a co-worker of Christopher Henderson, 37, at the West Corp became alarmed enough to contact police.  He had said that his life was not worth living because his wife was going to leave him for another woman.  He very graphically described what he would do to himself and how he would shoot his wife and this led to his supervisor calling the police.  Three hours after he had been cleared by the police, he picked up a gun that the Spokane police had confiscated in May but later had cleared for him to retrieve.

Tuesday morning, July 8, at 9:38 am, Christopher walked into the seventh floor suite in Deaconess Hospital, where his wife Sheena, 30, worked.  He fired multiple gunshots into her head and torso, killing her instantly and then he himself died of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  The Henderson's two children were orphaned in those few short minutes.  Co workers of Christopher stated that they knew what had happened when they heard the news of the shooting where his wife worked.

Henderson has been described as a good man and a family man but they added that they had seen changes in him recently after his wife began making plans to leave him.  Henderson was also fairly well known to police because of his previous contact with them recently.

Sheena had called the police on May 16 2014, after he had stormed out of their home threatening to commit suicide or suicide-by-cop.  The police found him in a van with the gun and convinced him to give it up,  He was then taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for an evaluation and he was released three hours later.  The gun was seized and locked up by the police.  It was released for him to pick up in June after he had passed the checks needed but he did not pick it up until this past Monday.  Police are still investigating to determine if the gun used in the murder-suicide was the same gun that he reclaimed from the police.

The officers that met with Henderson on Monday had read the police records on him, so they did know that he had done this before,  They did not know that he had also made threats on his wife's life on Monday.  They evaluated him at the scene and he convinced them that he was not serious about the threat to his own life.  police had cleared him to pick up the weapon they had seized earlier and did not contact Sheena that he had done so.  If they had taken it during a domestic dispute or if he had been court ordered therapy, they would have to notify her.  He had given them no reason to believe that they should take his freedom away nor were they allowed by law to do anything more with the gun he did not yet possess.

As in the case in Texas............ we live in a country that grants us many rights and freedoms, especially when it comes to whether someone is a threat to themselves or others.  Both Henderson and Haskell showed warning signs of the trouble that could be on the horizon but we can not arrest people without proof unfortunately.  It does show how difficult it still is these days to legally act upon those warning signs.

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