July 13, 2009 in City

Officers in fatal shooting identified

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Courtesy of Spokane Police Department photo

From left to right, Jeff McCollough, a nine-year veteran of the Spokane Police Department; Kellee Gately, an 18-year veteran; and Jason Curtis, who was hired in 2001 after five years at the Reno Police Department, have been identified as the three police officers involved in a fatal shooting in northeast Spokane on July 10, 2009.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

The fatal shooting of a man armed with a butcher knife Friday in northeast Spokane involved three senior police officers with a combined 35 years of experience in the Spokane Police Department.

Kellee Gately, Jeff McCollough and Jason Curtis are on paid administrative leave after Jason M. Poss, 23, was shot and killed Friday in the 1800 block of East Courtland Avenue.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office released the officers’ names Monday. The office is investigating the incident, which is standard when city police officers are involved in a fatal shooting.

Officers Ray Harding and Paul Aspaas, who witnessed the shooting, also are on paid leave, said Dave Chandler, the city’s human resources director.

On Courtland Avenue near the scene of the shooting, family members wrote messages on a memorial for Poss, a 2004 Rogers High School graduate.

“A piece of my heart died with you. I will love you for eternity,” said one signed “Your Mom.”

Poss’ death by police gunfire came after he broke into a woman’s home, beat her with a skateboard and stabbed her pit bull, Molly, which survived, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Poss left the home and encountered the officers on East Courtland, where he lunged with a knife at one officer in a patrol car, police said.

Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan would not say which officer was in the car and which two returned fire.

Gately has been a hostage negotiator for 18 years and joined the department in September 1990. She’s been a tactical team member for six years and teaches crisis intervention team classes for the agency, the Sheriff’s Office said.

McCollough was hired in August 1999 and works as a field training officer.

Curtis joined the department in August 2001 after five years at the Reno Police Department and is a member of the tactical team and chemical agent response team.


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