April 23, 2011 in City

In brief: Police officer cleared in 2010 fatal shooting

 

A Spokane police officer was justified when he shot and killed an armed felon last year, the Spokane County prosecutor’s office announced Friday.

Officer Trevor Nollmeyer will not be charged in the shooting, which killed Todd E. White, 46, on March 26, 2010, after a shootout on Spokane’s South Hill, said sheriff’s Spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan.

Nollmeyer and several officers arrived at 4127 E. 36th Ave., the home of White’s sister and her husband, after receiving a report that White was outside the home with a gun, Reagan said. White and his sister were having a dispute over who should inherit their late father’s firearms.

White fired at Nollmeyer, who returned shots, Reagan said. White went to the ground, but ignored orders to stop moving and began targeting other officers with his gun’s laser sight. Nollmeyer fired again and hit White, who died that day at a Spokane hospital.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jack Driscoll in a news release said White was clearly committing a felony by ignoring orders to drop his weapon and stay on the ground.

“Under these circumstances, it is reasonable to conclude the use of force was justified as Mr. White posed a threat of serious bodily harm to officers and others,” Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jack Driscoll said in a news release.

Chelsea Bannach

Rescue crews close in on miner’s work area

Rescue workers are blasting their way closer to a miner trapped at the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho.

By late Friday afternoon, crews had excavated nearly 75 percent of a 220-foot-long tunnel needed to reach Larry “Pete” Marek’s work area. About 57 feet of excavation work remained.

But as the tunnel gets closer to stope No. 15, where Marek is trapped, unstable rock could make the excavation more difficult, slowing the advance, Hecla Mining officials said.

It’s not known whether Marek, 53, survived an April 15 roof collapse at the mine. A tiny camera threaded through a drill hole into his work area has not detected him. Fresh air and water are being pumped into the work area through drill holes.

The tunnel’s excavation started Monday after rescue workers had to halt an earlier effort to reach Marek by clearing away a 25-foot high rock pile. Rescue crews were at risk from falling rock.

Also, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health sent a pump to the mine, which will be used to test the air quality before rescue workers enter the area where Marek is trapped.

Staff reports

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