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Spokane Police Return Man’s Fire

January 7, 2002

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ Police shot and wounded a man they said ``fired wildly″ at them with an assault rifle in a crowded bus and train station after he fled from a traffic stop.

Nobody else was hurt in the shootings. There were an estimated 250 passengers aboard an Amtrak train and another 100 were on two Greyhound buses at the time, in addition to an unknown number of people in the terminal, police spokesman Dick Cottam said.

``We were lucky he didn’t try to get on board and take hostages,″ Cottam said.

The gunman, whose name was withheld by police, was hospitalized in satisfactory and stable condition after surgery for a bullet wound to leg. The man, 20, has a criminal record, police said.

Bullet holes were found in the train and one of the buses after the man ``fired wildly″ with a Chinese assault weapon, Police Chief Roger Bragdon said. Police chased the man outside the Spokane Intermodal Center to avoid hitting civilians.

The violence began about 1:20 a.m. when an officer pulled over a vehicle for speeding and someone inside fired shots at the officer, Bragdon said.

The vehicle sped off, but crashed a short time later. Two men got out and one carrying a rifle climbed onto elevated railroad tracks and ran into the depot, where the train and buses had just arrived, he said.

The man put down the rifle after being shot and was wrestled to the ground by officers, Bragdon said. The second man, who was injured in the car crash, surrendered nearby and was taken into custody.

It was the third time since August _ and the second time in a week _ that Spokane police fired shots at suspects. Two people died in the shootings.

Update hourly