Prosecutors, YPD agree to 2nd evaluation of shootout suspect

Prosecutors, YPD agree to 2nd evaluation of shootout suspect »Play Video
Lance Nanamkin pictured above during a court appearance in May, 2012.
YAKIMA, Wash. -- A man blamed for a shootout with Yakima police officers could be faking the severity of his injuries, according to Yakima County prosecutors.

YPD didn't think Lance Nanamkin would be held accountable for the chase and shootout he's suspected of, but prosecutors aren't giving up yet.

They want to make sure Nanamkin isn't putting on a show to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison.

Police say Lance Nanamkin led officers on a 20-plus mile chase from Toppenish to Yakima.

Nanamkin then abruptly stopped in a downtown neighborhood and started shooting at officers, who returned nearly 70 shots, hitting Nanamkin and sending him to the hospital, according to investigators.

Those tense moments were captured by KIMA.

"Any one of those officers could've lost their lives," said Yakima Police Captain Rod Light.

Lance Nanamkin was shot multiple times.

He's now in a wheelchair and holding him accountable was uncertain. A court evaluation ruled Nanamkin unfit to stand trial.

"Charges, could be dropped, the case could be dismissed; what was the feeling then?" KIMA asked.

"Obviously in a case like this, there's frustration," said Light.

YPD told KIMA in January the case against Nanamkin was over, but the Prosecuting Attorney is in charge of that, and their office hasn't dismissed anything.

Nanamkin will now get a second evaluation.

"You don't want to put a person with this history and his activity and conduct on that day back out on the street unless you're certain public safety is protected," said Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Hagarty.

But if there was any doubt, where did it come from?

Prosecutors say they had reason to believe Nanamkin might be faking the severity of his injuries after going through reports since Nanamkin's alleged shootout.

"The doctor concluded that it is possible, he gave no second thought to the fact he might have been fooled," Hagarty said.

"He's pretty good at coming across as if he's completely unable to do anything for himself," said Light.

The second evaluation will be more in-depth and won't come cheap.

The Prosecutor's Office and YPD will split the cost using taxpayer money. The exact dollar amount is not being released at this time.

"Is the potential cost, worth a second evaluation to look at Nanamkin?" KIMA asked.

"Yes, I think so," said Hagarty. "I believe it is and I think if you ask YPD and the officers involved, they'd say it's worth every penny we spend on it."

An agreement to do whatever it takes to make sure you are not at risk.

To get all sides, we contacted Nanamkin's attorney, but he didn't want to comment. We could not reach Nanamkin's family.

Prosecutors say the defense might still challenge a second evaluation.

A judge would decide from there.

If he is found fit for trial, Nanamkin faces a third strike and sentence of life in prison without parole.