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Injured deputies making progress

Two sheriff’s deputies shot by a fugitive heroin-trafficking suspect last week continue to recover as detectives continue to investigate the crime spree that ended in the gunman’s suicide.

Deputy Matt Spink, who was shot once in his leg, was released from the hospital Friday. Deputy Mike Northway, who was shot four times in his arms and legs, remains in the hospital but has been released from the intensive care unit and has walked around a couple of times.

“There’s even been some talk about a hospital discharge date,” said Deputy Craig Chamberlain, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Spink, 45, and Northway, 42, were shot by Charles Robert Wallace, 41, last Tuesday after the deputies, who were in separate patrol cars, stopped a Chevrolet Tahoe at Elm Road and North Newport Highway at the request of drug task force members.

Drug detectives had been looking for Wallace, who was facing a federal grand jury indictment for a heroin-trafficking ring, after he left court-ordered drug treatment.

According to new information released Monday, Wallace also fired on a third officer that day, Spokane police Detective Tim Madsen, who spotted the fleeing fugitive in a stolen Honda Accord and gave chase. Wallace fired out the car’s window as he sped toward Deer Park, but Madsen was not hit.

Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Dutton struck Wallace’s car at Highway 2 and Deer Park-Milan Road to try to stop it, but Wallace recovered. As Wallace approached Deer Park, sheriff’s Detective Shane McClary fired several rounds from his gun at Wallace. Wallace continued west toward state Route 395, where he crashed into Spokane police Officer Ryan Snider’s unoccupied patrol car, then a guard rail.

Officers saw Wallace trying to get out of the car as they approached but say he shot himself within seconds and was pronounced dead.

Northway started work at the Sheriff’s Office as a corrections deputy in 1996 before beginning patrol 1999. Spink joined the agency in 1999.

Staff writer Jody Lawrence-Turner contributed to this report.

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