An autopsy performed Wednesday on a man involved in a standoff with police this week shows he died from several gunshots to the torso, according to the Benton County Coroner’s Office.
None of the wounds on Roark K. Cook, 36, appear to be self-inflicted, indicating he died after an exchange of gunfire with Benton County Deputy Logan Brown and Richland police Officer Ryan Miller.
The bullets appear to have struck Cook from the front and side, entering above the thighs and below the shoulders, said Coroner John Hansens. A forensic pathologist is working to determine how many times he was struck.
Toxicology tests to determine if Cook was under the influence will be done and results could take up to eight weeks.
Cook’s mother called 911 early Monday morning saying she was concerned for her son’s safety and that he could harm others, police said. The woman said Cook had access to guns and could be mentally unstable.
Court records show and family members say Cook battled mental-health issues.
Police tracked Cook to the West Ninth Avenue apartment and tried to get a woman to open the door, police said. The officers then heard a commotion inside and tried to knock the door down. Cook reportedly shouted he had a gun and police retreated.
A short while later, a woman and a 7-year-old boy came out onto a second-story balcony, and police helped the child escape, police said. The woman tried to climb down but Cook pulled her back inside.
The woman got free and when she tried to escape over the balcony a second time, Cook fired at least one shot, police said. The officers then returned fire.
Police apparently used their bodies to shield the woman as the gunfire erupted. Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin called the officers heroes during a press conference a few hours after the shooting.
Police helped a second woman inside the apartment escape over the balcony. The women and boy were not injured.
Cook remained armed inside the apartment, refusing to surrender or get medical help, police said. Members of the Richland Bomb Squad blew the door to the apartment off and used a robot to check on Cook, who eventually died.
The Tri-City Special Investigations Unit is looking into the shooting to determine whether it was justified. The deputy and police officer are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Cook had a long history of domestic violence in the Tri-Cities against several different women, including one who lived at the apartment where the standoff occurred, court records show.
He has convictions for violating no-contact orders, domestic-violence related assaults, harassment, assault with a sexual motivation, malicious mischief and burglary.
A majority of his convictions and jail and prison sentences stem from domestic violence-related incidents.