Armed pawn shop employees end hostage standoff

26-year-old Jonathan Johnson jumped the counter of Double Eagle Pawn in Spokane, Washington on Friday, quickly loaded a shotgun, and began firing, driving customers and employees from the store.


It was after employees escaped and did a head-count that they realized that people were still trapped inside with the gunman. Three of them decided to draw their own weapons and headed toward the door:

Within a few minutes the three armed employees walked toward the front door of the building. One of the three, whom Wegner would not identify, entered and confronted Johnson.

“He told the guy, ‘Don’t make me use this,’ and told him he wanted the two co-workers and store customers to leave safely,” Wegner said.

Wegner said the gunman said nothing and let the group leave by the front door.

Johnson remained inside alone for almost two hours before police negotiators were able to convince him to surrender. Johnson’s brother, Dennis Johnson, said that Jonathan Johnson had a heroin addiction. We can only speculate what may have occurred if the armed employees hadn’t rescued the employees and customers trapped inside before police arrived and a standoff ensued.

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