SPOKANE, Wash. -- Police are responding to a hostage situation in East Spokane.
Officers responded to reports of shots fired near East Sprague Avenue and South Fiske Street. The suspect is reportedly armed and may have at least one person held hostage at the Double Eagle Pawn Shop on the 3000 block of East Sprague.
WATCH LIVE: Hostage situation near Fiske and Sprague
Dennis Johnson, the brother of the suspect John Johnson tells KREM 2 News the suspect called him around 10:30 a.m. Friday. Dennis said his brother was holding someone hostage at the Double Eagle Pawn Shop, and that he was armed. John Johnson also said he wanted Dennis to call the media to let them know.
John Johnson is from Western Washington, according to the brother. Dennis also claims John is a drug addict.
Sources tell KREM 2 the suspect jumped over the counter after entering the pawn shop, grabbed a weapon and started shooting. Spokane police Sgt. Lydia Taylor said that workers in the building have been released but it is not clear if the gunman is holding a customer in the building. The suspect is claiming, however, that he does have a hostage. Taylor says nobody was hit when the man fired his weapon.
Police have shut down several blocks around E Sprague. The SWAT Team was also called to the scene. Hostage negotiators have made contact with the suspect.
Police are warning citizens that if they can see the Double Eagle Pawn Shop, they are too close. There is a danger that the armed suspect can see people outside as he may have access to the roof of the building.
A KREM 2 News Crew is headed to the scene. Check with KREM.com and watch KREM 2 News at Noon for the latest updates on this developing situation.