Man shot, killed by police was involved in armed home invasion weeks earlier, Richland police say

45-year-old Gordon Whitaker
45-year-old Gordon Whitaker

RICHLAND, Wash. — A man who was shot and killed by police in Kennewick on Feb. 9 was involved in an armed home invasion in Richland just a few weeks earlier, authorities announced Thursday.

Police say a Gordon Whitaker and Stevie Trott forced their way into a home in the 1800 block of Leslie Rd. on Jan. 15 after the female victim opened the door, thinking it was a friend.

Once inside, police say the robbers zip-tied the victim and covered her mouth with take. During the incident, Whitaker was armed with a handgun and allegedly pointed it at the victim’s head, police said, adding that the victim was also assaulted by the female robber.

The victim’s 7-year-old child was in another room and heard the disturbance, so the child attempted to contact other family members with a mobile device. The child was not harmed during the incident.

The robbers got away with a “significant amount” of cash during the incident, police said.

Trott was identified as a suspect the next day and was arrested for her involvement in the robbery. Then on Jan. 22, the victim identified Whitaker as the male robber, and detectives began trying to locate him.

On Feb. 9, Whitaker and another man were located in the area of Fruitland Street and Columbia Drive in Kennewick. When officers approached them, police say Whitaker took off from them and allegedly showed a gun.

The Kennewick officers opened fire and fatally shot Whitaker. The Regional Special Investigations Unit is investigating the shooting.

Since then, the Richland robbery investigation has remained active pending forensic analysis for evidence sent to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, which was collected at the crime scene.

This week, Richland detectives received the results of the forensic analysis and have confirmed the identity of the male robber as Whitaker.

“We have informed the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office of the new information and will be sending the final reports in this case to their office in the coming week,” police said.