Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Hirzel told investigators Friday that he saw Pastor Wayne Scott Creach approaching his unmarked patrol car from a distance of about 30 feet with a gun in his hand before they had a verbal confrontation.
Hirzel said in a videotaped interview that he fired one shot that killed Creach on Aug. 25, according to a news release sent Friday by Spokane Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.
“According to Officer Hirzel’s statement and evidence collected at the scene, ultimately there was a close encounter between the officer and Mr. Creach near the officer’s car,” the release said. “Officer Hirzel stated there was a verbal exchange between himself and Mr. Creach prior to the single gunshot being fired. Officer Hirzel’s statement and the evidence confirms only one shot was fired.”
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. 4th Ave. in Spokane Valley.
Read the full news release by clicking the last link at the end of this post.
Today, Spokane Valley Police Officer Brian Hirzel met with Spokane Police Department Major Crimes Detectives and provided a voluntary interview in regards to the shooting incident which occurred on August 25, 2010. Officer Hirzel agreed to have the interview audio and video recorded.; and was fully cooperative with the investigators answering all of their questions. The interview lasted over two hours.
Officer Hirzel told detectives he was in the neighborhood of 14200 E 4th Ave conducting a prowl check based on a request from a citizen earlier that day for that particular block. Officer Hirzel stated he chose the large parking lot of the Plant Farm because it allowed him to conduct the prowl check safely, and also for its proximity to the address where the prowl check was first requested. Officer Hirzel also stated that he saw Mr. Creach approaching his vehicle from a distance of approximately 30ft and that Mr. Creach had a firearm in his hand.
According to Officer Hirzel's statement and evidence collected at the scene, ultimately there was a close encounter between the officer and Mr. Creach near the officer's car. Officer Hirzel stated there was a verbal exchange between himself and Mr. Creach prior to the single gunshot being fired. Officer Hirzel's statement and the evidence confirms only one shot was fired.
This investigation is still active and ongoing. A meeting will take place Tuesday, September 7th, involving investigators, supervisors, and prosecutors to determine what additional information can be released to the public that will not jeopardize this investigation. Prior to release of information to the public the family of Mr. Creach will be briefed by investigators. We anticpate further information being released prior to the end of next week.
*****MEDIA - There will NOT be any more information provided today, nor will there be any on camera interviews.****