A man shot by sheriff’s deputies remained in critical condition Thursday after surgery at a Spokane hospital.
Details about the “officer-involved shooting” on Day-Mount Spokane Road were still sketchy as darkness and fog settled in the sparsely populated area.
Spokane police detectives planned to continue their investigation through the night, hoping to finish before anticipated rain.
The man, who witnesses said appeared to be in his 20s, has not been identified, and the nature of his injuries was not disclosed.
His pickup had Idaho license plates.
The incident started with a reckless driving complaint and ended with the shooting, said Sgt. Dave Reagan, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Reagan would not say whether the man was armed.
About 4:30 p.m., witnesses called police to report that a reckless driver in a white pickup was trying to force other vehicles off the road, Reagan said.
About 20 minutes later, another caller said that a man had taken off his shirt, stuffed it into his pickup gas tank and lit it on fire.
At least one other caller reported seeing the pickup with a flaming piece of fabric sticking out of the gas tank.
The reports of the fiery cloth prompted a more urgent response from deputies, said Reagan, who referred to the man as “a potential arson suspect.”
As two deputies arrived to the area of North Day-Mount Spokane and Dunn roads, the man ran from the woods and “engaged” them, said Reagan, who did not know the nature of that contact.
At 4:56 p.m., shots were fired, but how many and by whom are details that weren’t been released.
Two deputies were on the scene when the shooting occurred, and three others arrived shortly after, Reagan said.
All five had been isolated from one another Thursday night until they could be interviewed by detectives, he said.
However, under department protocol, any deputies who actually fired shots can wait up to 72 hours before being interviewed, Reagan noted.
About a mile of Day-Mount Spokane Road was closed for the investigation, but authorities expected to have it reopened by early today.
The Spokane Police Department handles investigations of shootings by county sheriff’s deputies.
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