PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SPOKANE POLICE DEPT: On Monday night just before 7pm, Spokane Police received a robbery call from the G&B Grocery, 2104 E. Francis. When officers arrived, the suspect, James Hopkins was outside the store, being held on the ground by a store customer.
Hopkins entered the store wearing a ski mask and hat, waving a firearm at the clerk/store owner as well as other customers. Hopkins was screaming for the clerk to give him all the money, which the victim placed on the counter.
Hopkins grabbed the cash and pointed his gun at the clerk as well as the five other people inside the store – which included two 12 year olds and a 13 year old. Hopkins fired one round into the ceiling and then attempted to run out of the store.
One of the customers grabbed Hopkins, who then dropped his gun to the floor. The victim and the suspect struggled on the way out the door, where the customer held Hopkins until police arrived just moments later.
When officers responded they were able to place Hopkins under arrest for 1st Degree Robbery and 6 counts of 1st Degree Assault. Officers located the gun inside the store and determined it was a stolen firearm. (The gun had been reported stolen in 2002 from Bellingham, Washington).
Hopkins is also a convicted felon, thus it is illegal for him to possess a firearm. Hopkins was also booked for the Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Possession of a Stolen Firearm.
We are grateful to the witnesses of this incident for quickly calling police. Thankfully, no one was injured when a witness grabbed the suspect and held him until officers arrived moments later, however many times suspects can be violent and unpredictable, causing injury or even death to those who stand in their way.
The best thing to do if you are witness to a robbery situation is to get a good look at the suspect, call police immediately and provide a detailed suspect and suspect vehicle description.