A standoff involving a Washington man who triggered an AMBER Alert on Tuesday after he abducted his son has ended with the man dead, Spokane County authorities confirmed.
NBC 8 reports that according to Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Gregory, the suspect, 41-year-old Justin Robertson, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after barricading himself inside a home in St. John, Washington on Tuesday evening.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Robertson broke into the Spokane Valley home of his estranged wife, Melissa Robertson, on Tuesday morning, and allegedly stabbed her numerous times before abducting their 5-year-old son. The suspect fled in a red 2014 Subaru Legacy sedan, with Washington license plate, APN-2450.
Robertson released the boy safely from the St. John home on Tuesday afternoon, but kept himself barricaded inside for hours as authorities tried to negotiate with him to surrender. At around 6 p.m., after losing contact with the suspect, SWAT officers entered the residence and found Robertson dead.
“It could have gone considerably worse. He could have fired on our team or caused them to do something,” Gregory said during a press release on Tuesday.
The young boy was unharmed, according to the sheriff’s office. Melissa Robertson was taken to the Sacred Heart Hospital after the stabbing but she’s expected to survive.
Have you seen this man? @SpokaneSheriff say he stabbed his wife, who is estranged, and took their 5 year old son, Ethan. They believe he is driving a Subaru Legacy with the license plate # APN2450. @KREM2 pic.twitter.com/Wx6K5PHb8R
— Amanda Roley (@KREMAmandaRoley) April 23, 2019
Authorities responded to Melissa’s home on Tuesday after someone pressed a “panic button” inside the residence. Officers found her bleeding profusely. She told police that she recently had divorce papers served to the suspect, who reportedly had a long history of domestic violence.
Court documents indicate that on December 4, 2018, the victim filed a protection order against the suspect at the in Spokane County Superior Court. Melissa Robertson said she was worried about “possible physical harm, injury or death.”
A day before she filed the order, the victim reportedly received an “anonymous text message” indicating that her car now had a tracking device on it. As the threats continued, she filed another protection order in March 2019, claiming she was still facing “physical, mental and emotional abuse, and possibly death.”
The victim also stated that her husband was suicidal and threatening to hurt her and their son.
“He continues to stalk me, follow me and track me through various methods, including hacking into accounts and electronic devices,” the victim wrote in the protection order.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Justin Robertson/Spokane County Sheriff’s Office]