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Shooter in Spokane murder-suicide was given gun a day before shooting

Man who killed wife and himself inside Spokane cancer center was given his gun back a day before the shooting

The 37-year-old man who shot his wife and turned the gun on himself inside a Spokane, Wash., cancer center Tuesday had threatened to kill himself before and was given his firearm back a day before the shooting, police said.

Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub said Christopher Henderson had struggled with mental health issues and had planned a "suicide by cop" in May.

His firearm was seized by police after that incident but was returned Monday, less than 24 hours before the deadly shooting at Deaconness Medical Center, Straub said.

Teresa Fuller, a police spokeswoman, told the Los Angeles Times that it was not immediately clear if the weapon that was returned to Henderson on Monday was the murder weapon.

Henderson shot his wife, 30-year-old Sheena Henderson, several times in the head and body before turning the gun on himself at 9:38 a.m. Tuesday, according to a news release issued by the Spokane Medical Examiner's Office.

The shooting happened inside a cancer center on the seventh floor of a building at Deaconness Medical Center, Fuller said. Sheena Henderson was an employee at the facility, which did not have metal detectors, Fuller said.

On May 16, Sheena Henderson called police after her husband stormed out of the house with a gun, threatening to commit suicide or "suicide by cop," Straub said. On that day, police managed to convince him to surrender his weapon and enter custody.

He was evaluated at Sacred Heart Medical Center and released, Straub said, and the weapon was seized. But Henderson was able to retrieve his firearm after records checks were completed in mid-June, Straub said.

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Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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