Spokane – StoryCorps

Jasmine Pacheco and Carmen Pacheco-Jones

Carmen Pacheco-Jones grew up in an unstable home and had stopped attending school by the time she was 13 years old. She was abusing drugs and alcohol, and throughout her childhood, she spent time in and out of more than a dozen foster homes.

Her drug and alcohol dependence continued into adulthood—even as Carmen started her own family. Her five children remember being raised in a chaotic home; that changed nearly 20 years ago when police in Washington state raided the house where the family was living. Following her arrest, the children were separated and placed in different foster homes.

At StoryCorps, Carmen sat down with her 27-year-old daughter, Jasmine, who was 10 years old when the raid took place, to remember what it was like when their family reconnected after being torn apart.

Today Carmen has been alcohol and drug free for 17 years and is a part of all of her children and grandchildren’s lives. This winter Jasmine is on track to graduate from Eastern Washington University with a degree in psychology and a minor in art.

Originally aired October 28, 2016, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

John Gately and Sean Fitzpatrick

Eleven years ago, Sean Fitzpatrick was a high school junior in Spokane, Washington.

He had developed paranoid schizophrenia and was hearing voices—but he didn’t tell anyone.

One morning, Sean went to school with a gun and a plan: barricade himself in a classroom, pretend he had hostages, and force police to kill him.

Sean’s plan didn’t work—but at the end of the standoff he was shot in the face. He still has difficulty speaking.

John Gately of the Spokane Police Department was the officer assigned to negotiate with Sean.

They recently sat down at StoryCorps to remember that day in 2003. Sean now works to educate law enforcement on handling encounters with people in the midst of a mental health crisis.

Originally aired June 12, 2015, on NPR’s Morning Edition.