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Man shot by deputy denies being armed

A suspected thief shot multiple times by a Stevens County sheriff’s deputy disputed law enforcement reports Sunday that he was armed with a pistol even though authorities say they recovered a gun and several other stolen items at his home.

“I woke up with my body hit like a freakin’ target,” said Trinidy C. Lopez, 23, who explained during a brief telephone interview from his hospital bed that he had been asleep in his bedroom after a night of partying when deputies arrived at his Loon Lake home early Saturday and one of them began shooting. “I woke up in excruciating pain.”

Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen, however, said Lopez was wielding a stolen pistol. “It was either pointed at the deputy or coming to bear onto the deputy,” Allen said of the firearm.

Allen said deputies were called to the Loon Lake business district after 1 a.m. Saturday on a report of items being stolen from multiple vehicles near Luke’s BBQ and the Loon Lake Saloon and Grill. He said Lopez emerged as a suspect in the thefts and deputies went to Lopez’s home at 4359 E. Deer Lake Road, where the shooting occurred.

Lopez said he went Friday night to Luke’s BBQ in Loon Lake with a group that included his dad, sister and niece. He was shot after he got home and went to bed.

“I was drunk off my ass,” Lopez said, before apologizing for his language. Even so, he said, he was sure he was not holding a gun and did not steal any items.

Lopez was listed in satisfactory condition Sunday at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. He said the deputy shot him nine times, including four times in the chest. He said one of his femurs and one of his shins were shattered.

Laura Hood, a bartender at Loon Lake Saloon and Grill, said Lopez’s group first came into the saloon about 9 or 10 p.m. Friday. She said a woman in the group who appeared to be younger than 21 showed her the ID of a 43-year-old. Hood refused to serve them and they left.

“They were only here for five minutes, and he jacked a coat on the way out,” Hood said.

The customer whose coat was stolen noticed it in Lopez’s truck and took it back, Hood said. That was before others who were parked in Loon Lake’s business district that night noticed things stolen from their vehicles.

Lopez denied stealing anything. He said he was out having fun with family and friends and went as a group to Luke’s because a woman in the party forgot her ID and they couldn’t get served at the saloon.

But the sheriff said the gun that Lopez was holding when he was shot was stolen just a few hours earlier from a vehicle parked in the business district.

“We recovered the bulk of the stolen items that were taken from the vehicle prowls,” Allen said.

Lopez recently moved in with his parents, Fred and Charlotte Lopez, in their home south of Deer Lake. He said he has a 7-year-old daughter and that his girlfriend is pregnant.

Two deputies were let inside the Lopez home by a resident about 3 a.m., Allen said. Only one of the deputies fired. Allen said the shooting took place in a bedroom and that deputies were in different parts of the home when shots were fired.

Names of the deputies will be released by Tuesday, Allen said. The deputy was interviewed by investigators on Saturday.

“We left that up to him, and he wanted to give his version of the story as soon as possible,” Allen said.

The incident is being investigated by a team of detectives from the Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team, which includes the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane Police Department and Washington State Patrol. Allen said the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office also is participating in the investigation.



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