Sirens & Gavels

Man shot by deputies on trial for assault

Trial began Monday in the case of a man charged with assault after he was shot by Spokane County sheriff's deputies.

Michael E. Young, 56, is charged with two counts of second-degree assault after deputies said he pointed a gun at them as they responded to reports that he was suicidal.

Deputies Walter Loucks, Darell Stidham and Scott Bonney shot Young outside his home at 11709 E. Fairview Ave., on Dec. 27, 2009.

Young had reportedly threatened to kill himself and was armed with a .40-caliber Glock. A neighbor who witnessed the shooting said Young never pointed his gun at deputies but refused orders to drop it.

Loucks and Sgt. Dale Golman received life-saving awards for their work on Young after he was shot, but a review by sheriff's officials criticized the move.

"Was it possible their rapid response saved the suspect's life? Possibly," according to a report by Daniel Knight, the sheriff's lead firearms instructor. "But rushing up to someone who was armed and just fell to the ground is dangerous...The deputies could have stayed in position and assessed the situation for a short period of time before making the approach to ensure their safety."

Golman is credited with helping control Young's bleeding; Loucks established an airway to keep Young breathing, according to a sheriff's office report. Sheriff's officials recommended reiteration training on how to respond to injured suspects and to "continue to reinforce the concept of 'shoot until the threats ceases to exist.'"

Young is represented by private defense lawyer James Kirkham. Patrick Johnson is prosecuting and Judge Sam Cozza is presiding.

A similar jury trial ended in acquittal last month.




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