SPOKANE, WA – One thing you don’t do is play with toy guns around cops, especially if you’re a suspect. Another thing you don’t want to do is shoot a cop with a paintball gun because their instinct and reaction might just be to return fire with a real gun, not knowing you were just shooting paintballs. That’s what happened this week in Spokane, but this perp was lucky. The officer quickly realized it was just a paintball and he really didn’t get shot. It turns out he also did have a real gun too. Here’s what happened.
A Spokane Police Detective Sergeant is shot in the face with a paintball gun and a real firearm is recovered from his assailant as well as heroin.
A little after midnight on December 3, 2020, SPD plain clothes detectives were finishing detail in the area of the Nevada corridor north of North foothills drive. As one of the detectives Sgt’s was getting ready to leave something started striking his car. Believing he was taking gunfire he exited the car and took cover. Almost immediately he felt a sharp pain and the impact of something striking his face. He thought he had just been shot. He then noticed yellow paint on the side of his car and realized his assailant was shooting paintballs. He called for assistance and began pursuing his assailant who was fleeing in a car.
The car stopped in an alley near Bridgeport and Nevada, the passenger (later identified as Dezmyn Simpson, 25) fled, and the driver David Medina, 24 was eventually taken into custody by the Sgt.
A detective arrived just in time to see Simpson coming from the area of the stopped car, as the event was still unfolding he had not yet confirmed Simpson was involved so he stopped him and began to ask him questions. Initially, Simpson was cooperatively sitting on a porch at the detective’s request. As detectives were still arriving into the area the Sgt could be heard yelling commands in the alley. One detective stayed with Simpson and one ran to the traffic stop to offer assistance. Simpson, who had apparently only feigned compliance, took advantage of being left with only one detective, jumped up and ran.
As he was fleeing he was seen repeatedly reaching for his waistband, one of the detectives in foot pursuit yelled to the other detectives that he was reaching for his waistband and may be armed.
After a short chase, he was caught and taken into custody. Officers searched back over the path he had taken as he was running and found a live round, a loaded extended or large capacity pistol magazine, and an unloaded firearm (later determined to be stolen) just off the sidewalk where he had been observed reaching into his waistband. It is undetermined, whether he intentionally unloaded the weapon while running or inadvertently ejected the magazine and a live round while trying to load the gun to use it.
As he was being taken into custody Simpson made an unsolicited statement and stated he had “nine points on his felony record.” Searching him incident to arrest he was found to own heroin as well.
A large paintball gun was found lying on the ground on the passenger side of the car right where Simpson had first been observed by the Sgt before he fled.
Simpson was charged with Assault 3rd degree, 1st-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, and felony possession of a controlled substance. His local arrest record includes but is not limited to; criminal traffic offenses, possession of a controlled substance, making false statements, multiple assaults of different degrees, possession of stolen property, and burglary. He is pictured here.