Two Spokane County deputies have been cleared in the shooting death of a kidnapping suspect in Spokane Valley last September.
After reviewing the case, the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office determined there is no criminal liability and charges will not be filed.
Deputies Aaron Childress and Eric Werner responded to a kidnapping report Sept. 5 at 1309 N. Skipworth Court. A 69-year-old woman reported Edward S. Gover, 47, her boyfriend, had stabbed her in the arm and held her captive the night before. The woman told deputies Gover demanded she hand over a pistol she kept in a safe, threatened suicide and threatened to kill her before he left the house in her black Mercedes.
Gover returned to the residence while deputies were taking their reports and turned the car around and fled, ditching the car a block away. The deputies returned to the home, fearing he might return.
Childress told investigators he saw Gover’s head rise above a 6-foot vinyl fence, which he jumped and advanced on the home.
Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Jack Driscoll wrote that Gover told deputies “that he had a knife and was going to kill Deputy Childress and Deputy Childress was going to have to kill him. Mr. Gover made like he had a knife in his hand, hid it behind his back, then advanced, described by both deputies as charging, within five to 10 feet of Deputy Childress.”
Werner shot Gover once and Childress fired five times. Gover was declared dead at the scene.
After Gover fell, deputies found the item in his hand was a key fob for the Mercedes.
The case was investigated by the Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team, made up of officials from the Spokane Police Department, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol.
Driscoll’s report does not discuss how Gover sustained at least two gunshot wounds to the back, as investigative files had indicated. Driscoll was not available for comment Thursday.
Lifelong friend Todd Beaugrand, of Rathdrum, who helped Gover move to Idaho from Utah, said he was disappointed by the decision to clear the deputies.
“That’s crazy. How was this justified when he didn’t have a weapon?” Beaugrand said. “He never should have been shot that many times. He was the size of a 10-year-old boy.”