Local news

Deputy involved in shooting had role in 2006 fatality


The Stevens County sheriff’s deputy who shot a suspected thief on Saturday was involved in a fatal shooting in Chewelah nearly five years ago.

Deputy Travis Frizzell, who has worked in law enforcement for six years, has been on paid leave since shooting Trinidy C. Lopez, 23, early Saturday. Lopez is recovering at a Spokane hospital.

Frizzell and Deputy Greg Gowin, whose identities were disclosed Tuesday, were at 4359 E. Deer Lake Road to arrest Lopez when Frizzell shot Lopez multiple times, according to Sgt. Dave Thornburg, spokesman from the multi-agency team investigating the shooting. Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen said last weekend that Lopez was armed with a stolen pistol.

Gowin, a four-year veteran, has returned to work. The deputies were interviewed in depth by investigators on Saturday, Thornburg said.

Lopez told The Spokesman-Review on Sunday that he was sleeping in his bedroom when he awoke to the deputy shooting him.

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 denied stealing anything, although authorities said Sunday several stolen items were recovered at the home.

On Tuesday, Thornburg confirmed that a gun recovered from Lopez’s home had been stolen from a vehicle before the shooting.

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

Hobrecht had gone to a Chewelah-area home claiming three men were trying to kill him, then threatened the officers with a semi-automatic pistol but didn’t fire any shots.

Prosecutors said the shooting was justified.

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