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Posts tagged: Brian Hirzel

No Discipline In Valley Pastor Killing

The deputy who shot a 74-year-old Spokane Valley pastor will face no disciplinary action over the fatal encounter. Deputy Brian Hirzel (of Hayden) properly followed all departmental policies and procedures during the fatal Aug. 25 encounter with Wayne Scott Creach, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said today in announcing the results of his internal investigation. He met with members of the Creach family earlier in the day to advise them of the findings as well. The decision disappointed the Creach family. In an e-mail prior to his briefing with the sheriff, Alan Creach — the pastor’s son — again called for the sheriff to stop using unmarked cars on private property, a point of contention that family members believe contributed to the fatal encounter/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here.

Question: Are you surprised by the decision?

Clark: Tucker Right In Creach Case

So the verdict is finally in. Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker will NOT charge the sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed an elderly Spokane Valley pastor last August. Is it just me, or was Tucker’s Friday announcement the least surprising local news development since the street department’s admission that Spokane has a pothole problem? Seriously. Did anyone actually think that Tucker would ever take this cop case to a jury? I’ll tell you what is positively shocking, though. Now, I’ve shared my rather low regard for Tucker more than a time or two. (Insert golf-obsessed prosecutor joke here.) That said … I believe Tucker made the unavoidable and legally correct conclusion/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Clark that Prosecutor Steve Tucker made the right call in deciding not to prosecute Deputy Brian Hirzel of Hayden in the shooting of Pastor Wayne Scott Creach?

No Penalty For Deputy In Sex-Toy Biz

The deputy who shot a Spokane Valley pastor will not face discipline for failing to disclose his co-ownership of a business that sold sex toys online. Spokane County Deputy Brian Hirzel (of Hayden, pictured) remains under investigation for the Aug. 25 shooting that killed Pastor Wayne Scott Creach near his home and greenhouse business in Spokane Valley. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich announced in September that he had assigned investigators to determine whether Hirzel broke department policy when he failed to disclose his co-ownership in a business called Vanessa Allure that was being operated out of his Hayden home.  “It was being run by his wife,” Knezovich said Friday. “Hirzel gave us full information. He didn’t hide anything. He said he helped set up the website but she ran it”/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here.

Question: Did the Spokane County sheriff and investigators make the right call in deciding not to discipline Deputy Hirzel for failing to disclose his role in an online sex-toy outlet?

Autopsy: No Baton Strike On Creach

According to the report, the bullet from Deputy Hirzel’s gun hit Creach in the chest, traveled through his heart, lungs and hit his liver. It was found lodged in his lower ribcage. The report mentions scrapes and bruises consistent with what Creach may have received working at The Plant Farm, but does not mention an injury consistent with a baton strike, which contradicts Hirzel’s testimony/Marissa Bagg, KXLY. More here.

Question: Hirzel said he struck Pastor Creach with a baton before Creach went for his gun. But the autopsy report doesn’t mention a wound consistent with that claim. What do you make of that?

Tucker: Pastor Should Have Dropped Gun

Although the Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms, state laws passed since then dictate how citizens can legally carry and use weapons. Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker and other legal experts say the law is crystal clear on this point: A person must follow a lawful order from police. “When an officer asks you to drop a weapon, you drop it,” Tucker said this week. “Even in the Old West, if a deputy sheriff comes up on an outlaw and says ‘Drop the gun,’ you drop the gun or a gunbattle starts.” But Alan Creach, son of Wayne Scott Creach, who was killed Aug. 25, said it’s also clear that his father was no “outlaw,” and was well within his rights to carry a gun to protect his property as he had done for years/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here.

Question: Do you think it’s fair that someone defending his property is required by law to obey a law officer’s command to drop his gun?

HBO Poll: Sex-Toy Angle Irrelevant

  • Tuesday Poll: More than 60 percent of Hucks Online readers consider as irrelevant the story that Brian Hirzel, the Spokane County deputy who shot Pastor Wayne Scott Creach to death, sells sex toys online as a side business. 139 of 215 (64.65%) of respondents said it was an irrelevant detail. 64 of 215 (29.77%) considered the sidebar story to be relevant. 12 people (5.58%) were undecided.
  • Today’s Question: Have you ever been subpoenaed to testify in a civil or criminal trial?

Melissa: Sex-Toy Angle Is Relevant

It’s relevant on several levels, depending on who you ask. It’s relevant because the sheriff’s office already has a huge issue on its hands – and, the sheriff chose to assign some of his employees to get to the bottom of it. It’s relevant because, if investigators determine it’s a violation of policy, this deputy could possibly lose his job, even if the prosecutor clears him of criminal charges for the shooting. It’s relevant because some people believe if Deputy Hirzel would violate policy in this way, it’s possible he violated policy with the choices he made the night of the shooting. It’s not up to us to decide the answers to those questions; it is our responsibility to cover every angle of this huge community story, including this one/Melissa Luck, KXLY. More here.

Question: Persuaded, yet?

MM: Sex Toy Angle Isn’t Relevant

RE: KXLY: Hirzel faces sex toys probe, too/Huckleberries Online

Moscow Minidoka: As funny as the sex toy thing is, how could it possibly be relevant to the shooting? I’ve already stated my prejudice against Hirzel in this matter, but this seems like piling on… would we care if he and his wife sold Tupperware or time shares out of their home? Sex toys are pretty mainstream these days, or so I hear… heck, nowadays you can buy a pack of condoms at Safeway that come with a vibrating ring and burn-inducing lubricant.

Question: Is the sidebar story re: the Hirzels selling sex toys online relevant to the story of Pastor Wayne Scott Creach’s shooting death at the hands of Deputy Hirzel?

KXLY: Hirzel Faces Sex Toys Probe, Too

Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Hirzel is under investigation, not because of the deadly shooting at the Plant Farm last month, but because of a sideline business where he and his wife may have been selling sex toys online from their home.It appears that Deputy Hirzel may have been involved in an online business that sells adult novelty items. While peddling sex toys is legal it may be a violation of Spokane County Sheriff’s Office departmental policy and something the department had no idea the Hirzels were doing/Jeff Humphrey, KXLY. More here.

Question: Are you kidding me?

Vestal: Kirkpatrick’s Lecture Irrelevant

Basic information about the shooting of Wayne Scott Creach has been slow to emerge and shamefully scarce. Just days earlier, (Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick’s) department had issued a news release describing the Aug. 25 event as a “close encounter” with a “verbal exchange” – paltry, insufficient generalities that could have accurately been stated the morning after the shooting. Other facts, such as the now notorious vacation of Deputy Brian Hirzel, dribbled out while the cops played PR defense. The idea that the department owes the public an accounting – or that this vacation might strike us as outrageous – seemed not to register. So when Kirkpatrick began making her statement on Tuesday, one could have been forgiven for assuming she planned to discuss the shooting. … But no. What Kirkpatrick did was offer a lecture on “fatal shooting officer-involved protocol,” an irrelevancy that seemed aimed primarily at rescuing the sheriff’s reputation/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here. (SR file photo, of Anne Kirkpatrick)

Question: Why do police — particularly Spokane authorities — spend so much time covering their tails when one of theirs goofs up? Do they think people are going to simply quit asking about a controversy like the shooting of a pastor on his property?

Clark: Baton Story The Stuff Of Myths

Santa Claus. The Tooth Fairy. The Easter Bunny …The Keebler Elves. Open wide, compadres. We have a brand new myth to swallow. It’s called…“The Phantom Baton Blow.” Believing in magic is about the best way to make sense out of what Deputy Brian Hirzel says happened the night Wayne Scott Creach was fatally shot Aug. 25 in Spokane Valley. Hirzel says he struck Creach with his police baton. We’re told the blow was delivered in a knee area and hard enough so that the minister actually buckled. Yet we are also told that the autopsy showed no corresponding bruise on Creach. Hmm/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Do you believe Deputy Brian Hirzel’s story that he hit Pastor Wayne Scott Creach with his baton before shooting the minister to death?

Deputy’s Vacation Frustrates Sheriff

Item: Sheriff frustrated by vacation flap: Investigative panel allowed deputy to leave without consulting Knezovich/Thomas Clouse, SR

More Info: Hirzel “was already on vacation when I found out he was on vacation,” Knezovich said. “How do I un-ring that bell? I could have said bring him back in. But I would have just countermanded everything that the (investigative) team had done. That was not my role in the investigation. My role was to stay out of it and not influence it.”

Question: Is Ozzie protesting too much?

Police: Pastor Shot While Drawing Gun

A Spokane Valley pastor had put his gun in the waistband of his pants and was reaching for it when he was shot by a Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy late last month, a Spokane Police investigator said at a news conference this afternoon. The pastor, Wayne Scott Creach, had approached an unmarked police car in the parking lot of his Spokane Valley business where Deputy Brian Hirzel was sitting processing tickets, Spokane Police Lt. Dave McGovern said at a press conference today. The driver’s side window was down, and Hirzel warned Creach up to six times to drop the handgun he was holding down at his side, McGovern said. Creach replied that “he didn’t have to” drop his gun, but stowed the gun in the waistband of his trousers, McGovern said/Spokesman-Review. More here

Question: What do you make of this announcement by Spokane police?

INW: Kirkpatrick To Discuss Shooting

Rocco Segadelli, 11 months old, of Boise, is wide-eyed as he checks out the inside of a Mickey Mouse  balloon at the Spirit of Boise  Balloon Classic Night Glow Saturday night at Ann Morrison Park in Boise. (AP Photo/Idaho Press Tribune: Mike Vogt)

Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick to hold 2 pm press conference to discuss Creach shooting investigation/KXLY.

Clark: Knezovich Blew This One

It pains me to say it, but the sheriff’s leadership in the aftermath of the shooting death of a 74-year-old Spokane Valley pastor by a sheriff’s deputy has been neither swift nor inspiring. In particular, Knezovich’s decision to allow Deputy Brian Hirzel to postpone a key voluntary interview regarding the shooting until he got back from a scheduled vacation to Montana and Las Vegas galls me greatly. We’ve reported that Knezovich has defended not canceling the deputy’s time off out of concern that doing so “could taint the investigation by making it appear that he forced Hirzel to give the statement.” Sorry, Ozzie. That explanation is about as close to political doubletalk as I’ve ever heard you utter/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Do you agree that Sheriff Knezovich set a bad tone for the investigation into the shooting of Pastor Creach by allowing Deputy Hirzel to take a vacation before questioning?

Pastor’s Family Still Seeking Answers

Item: Deputy: One shot fired in death: He saw Creach with gun, then had ‘verbal exchange’/Thomas Clouse, SR

More Info: The news release offered no explanation of what was said or by whom, or why Hirzel felt the need to pull the trigger, killing the 74-year-old pastor in the parking lot of his nursery business at 14208 E. Fourth Ave. in Spokane Valley. Creach’s daughter, Serena Creach Leonard, said she read the statement released Friday and it left the family with many unanswered questions. “We have no more answers from that press release really than we had the day after,” Leonard said. “We still feel badly for Deputy Hirzel, but we need the sheriff’s department to communicate to us as a family to let us know what happened that night. Whatever it is, we want the truth.”

Question: Does the family of the late Pastor Creach have the right to know what happened the night Deputy Hirzel shot the minister to death?

Deputy In Pastor Shooting On Vacay

The deputy who fatally shot a Spokane Valley pastor last week has been unavailable for interviews with detectives probing the tragic shooting death because he reportedly was allowed to leave town for a scheduled weeklong vacation instead. The new details began emerging late Tuesday, when family members of Pastor Wayne Scott Creach said they’d been told by detectives in charge of the investigation that Deputy Brian Hirzel was allowed by Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich to proceed with his vacation plans rather than meet with investigators as soon as possible. Knezovich nor the Spokane Police Department, which is in charge of the shooting probe, has responded to requests for interviews on this topic/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here.

Question: Did Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich do the right thing by delaying the investigation into the shooting of a prominent Spokane Valley pastor for a week while the deputy involved takes a scheduled vacation?

PM: Hayden Neighbors Defend Cop

The remnants of a helicopter crash, which killed two Fish & Game biologists and a pilot, are shown Tuesday morning. The helicopter came down in a driveway near the intersection of State Highway 64 and State Highway 162, just blocks from Kamiah’s Main Street and the public school complex. Idaho Fish and Game news release here. And: AP story here. (AP Photo/The Clearwater Progress, Dave Medel)

Ex-KCSDeputy Hirzel Shot SV Pastor

The Spokane Valley Police officer who fatally shot a pastor and greenhouse owner last week was identified Monday as Deputy Brian Hirzel. Spokane Police spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe said Hirzel has been with the Spokane Valley Department for two years. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office contracts with the city of Spokane Valley to provide deputies to serve as police officers. Previously, Hirzel had worked at the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office in Idaho and as an officer in Cathedral City, Calif., which is near Palm Springs. DeRuwe – who is handling news releases because of a critical incident protocol between departments – offered no new information about why Hirzel shot Pastor Wayne “Scott” Creach outside his business, the Plan Farm at 14208 E. Fourth Ave/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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