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Alleged car thief died of gunshot wound to the head

UPDATED: Tue., March 26, 2013, 9:55 a.m.

The man killed by a homeowner Monday morning after allegedly trying to steal a vehicle died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s office.

The man has been identified as 25-year-old Brendon T. Kaluza-Graham.

Kaluza-Graham had a lengthy criminal record, including multiple convictions related to car theft or possessing tools related to car theft. Most recently, he was sentenced to 120 days in jail in November for possession of vehicle theft tools.

He was featured in a 2009 Spokesman-Review story on the rise in area vehicle thefts.

Kaluza-Graham also was charged with several felonies in February 2012 after reaching for a knife in a fight with a Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy. Deputies found substances believed to be methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana on him at that time, according to previously published reports.

Kaluza-Graham died Monday after a homeowner in the 1400 block of Lee called 911 just before 8 a.m. to report that his vehicle had been stolen, that the alleged thief was armed, and that he had fired at the thief, according to Spokane police.

The back window of the SUV was knocked out, which police think is from the single shot fired by the homeowner, said Lt. Mark Griffiths. He would not comment on where the vehicle was when the shot was fired at the driver.

Police spokeswoman Monique Cotton said the vehicle was left running before it was stolen.

This story has been altered to include the fact that Kaluza-Graham reached for a knife rather than brandished it.


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