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Deputies in Stevens Co. shooting identified

Tue., March 8, 2011, 6:44 p.m.

The Stevens County sheriff’s deputy who shot a suspected thief on Saturday has been identified as Travis Frizzell, a six-year veteran.

Frizzell and Deputy Greg Gowin were at 4359 E. Deer Lake Road to arrest Trinidy C. Lopez, 23, when Frizzell shot Lopez multiple times, officials say.

Lopez told The Spokesman-Review he was sleeping in his bedroom when he awoke to the deputy shooting him. But Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen 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.

Frizzell remains on paid leave; Gowin, a four-year veteran, has returned to work, according to Sgt. Dave Thornburg, spokesman from the multi-agency team investigating the shooting.

The deputies were interviewed by investigators in-depth on Saturday, Thornburg said.

The two were in separate rooms when Frizzell shot Lopez.

Frizzell and Gowin were investigating a report of items being stolen from multiple vehicles near Luke’s BBQ and the Loon Lake Saloon and Grill when Lopez emerged as a suspect.

Lopez said on Sunday that he had gone to the barbecue restaurant with a group that included his dad, sister and niece. He denied stealing any items.

But Thornburg said a gun recovered from Lopez’s home is confirmed to have been stolen in a vehicle prowling before the shooting.

Lopez remains in satisfactory condition at a local hospital.

In 2006, Frizzell, then a Chewelah police officer, and Stevens County Deputy John Bowers shot a 47-year-old man to death after the man ran at them with a pistol, according to previous reports.

Prosecutors said the shooting was justified and did not file charges.

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