September 28, 2010 in City

WSP sergeant who shot pregnant woman is 25-year vet

By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photo

In this photo from May 2006, Washington State Patrol Sgt. Lee Slemp removes a shotgun from an unmarked patrol car that was rear-ended on I-90 near the Garden Springs exit.
(Full-size photo)

The Washington State Patrol sergeant who shot an unarmed pregnant woman during a drug raid in Spokane early Friday has been identified as Lee Slemp, a 25-year veteran.

Slemp, 54, is a detective/sergeant hired on June 21, 1985, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said today.

Authorities still have not released the name of the woman, who they say was trying to flee out a bedroom window at 1405 N. Lincoln Street when she was shot by Slemp about 8:45 a.m.

The woman is a suspect in a crack cocaine investigation in the Moscow-Pullman area, said Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers.

Slemp and other members of the Quad City Drug Task Force, along with members of the Spokane gang task force, searched the woman’s apartment, which she shares with her mother.

Witnesses said Friday that they heard no commands to drop weapons or to comply before the woman, who was 39 weeks pregnant, was shot.

Investigators recovered crack cocaine, marijuana and prescription medication but no weapons.

Myers declined to discuss the shooting but said the woman, who he would not identify, remains a suspect in the case.

“We believe that the people we are focused on, and we still believe that those are the people involved, were the source or suppliers of crack cocaine as well as powder cocaine,” in the Pullman-Moscow area, Myers said. “We had a valid warrant, and we had a reason to be there. We wouldn’t be there unless we had a good, solid reason.”

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Reagan said in a news release late Friday that the woman was not compliant with orders and tried to escape, but he offered no further explanation for why Slemp used deadly force, which law enforcement is trained to use if their lives are in danger.

A Spokane TV station reported that labor was induced at a local hospital and that the woman gave birth over the weekend.

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