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Valley man shot by police is recovering at hospital

Tue., Jan. 5, 2010, midnight

Estranged wife said he had intended to commit suicide

A man shot by Spokane Valley police last week is recovering from surgery at a downtown hospital, family members said Monday.

Michael E. Young, 55, suffered gunshot wounds to his stomach after police responded to a report of a suicidal man at 11709 E. Fairview Ave.

Young’s estranged wife, Nikki Kellen, said he’d told her over the phone that he had taken a gun from a safe and intended to kill himself.

Police negotiated with Young for several minutes when he was inside the home and briefly in the backyard.

He was shot on the front porch of the home by Officers Griffin Criswell, Walter Loucks, Darell Stidham and Scott Bonney, police said.

Police said Friday that Young “walked out on the front porch and aimed a handgun at officers.”

But a man who said he witnessed the Dec. 27 shooting said Young never pointed the gun at police, and Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the ongoing investigation, said she doesn’t know how Young threatened officers.

“By confronting an officer with a gun in their hand, it can mean any number of things,” DeRuwe said. “I don’t actually know what happened.”

Kellen, 39, didn’t witness the shooting but said Young never threatened to harm anyone other than himself when she spoke with him on the phone.

Greg Sporn, 44, said he witnessed the shooting from his mother’s porch across the street from Young’s home.

Sporn said Young never pointed his gun at police but didn’t obey their commands to drop it and continued walking toward them. Officers shot Young after the third command, Sporn said. “His gun stayed pointed at the ground the entire time,” he said.

Police set up a perimeter around Young’s home and saw him with a gun as they peered through a back window, according to a search warrant filed Spokane County District Court.

One officer heard a possible gunshot from the home before Young exited the front door with the gun, according to the search warrant.

The shooting is the third time in the last two months Spokane Valley police have shot someone while responding to a suicide call. Each victim has survived.

On Oct. 30, Criswell and Officer Aaron Childress shot David J. Glidden, 27, after he emerged from a home at 4727 E. Third Ave. armed with an Airsoft pellet pistol that resembles a Colt .45 semiautomatic pistol. Some of those rounds went through the wall of a neighbor’s home. Glidden faces two counts of third-degree assault in connection with the confrontation.

On Nov. 28, Officers Ryan Walter and Rustin Olson shot Donald J. Lafavor, 65, while responding to a domestic dispute call at an apartment at 8910 E. Broadway Ave., police said. Lafavor is charged with two counts of second-degree assault for allegedly pointing the gun at the officers.

A woman who was in the apartment at the time of the shooting told police that Lafavor had been “agitated and angry” and told her he would point the gun “at whoever was at the door,” according to court documents.



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