May 14, 2013 in City

In brief: Police complete homicide investigation

 

The Spokane Police Department has completed its investigation into the death of Brendon Kaluza-Graham, the car thief who was shot and killed as he drove away in north Spokane.

Investigators had been awaiting toxicology and ballistics test results before forwarding their findings to prosecutors, who will decide whether to press charges against car owner and shooter Gail Gerlach.

Police spokeswoman Monique Cotton said she could not comment on whether police detectives made a recommendation to the prosecutor regarding charges.

Police previously said Gerlach admitted to firing his weapon as 25-year-old Kaluza-Graham drove away with Gerlach’s Chevy Suburban in late March.

Gerlach told police the shooting was self-defense. He reported that he thought he saw Kaluza-Graham turn around and point a weapon as he drove away.

Kaluza-Graham died from a gunshot wound to the head and crashed the vehicle into a garage a few blocks from the north Spokane home where he stole the vehicle left idling in the driveway.

Spokane County prosecutors did not return requests for comment Monday.

Jennifer Pignolet

City speaker series ends 16-year run

Spokane City Forum, a long-running speaker series sponsored by downtown Spokane’s First Presbyterian Church, is ending after a 16-year run.

The final address will be Wednesday by Spokane Public Schools Superintendent Shelley Redinger.

City Forum was launched to present ideas from business, government and nonprofit leaders around the theme, “What makes a good city?” The monthly talks charged a small admission fee and included lunch.

Meg Stewart, coordinator of the series, said a combination of factors is to blame for the series’ demise. The forum has had trouble attracting board members, she said, and attendance has fallen from an average of 125 to 150 for the monthly talks a decade ago to 80 to 100 or so now.

Plus, “there are so many nonprofits out there now,” Stewart said.

“It’s a good thing – everybody is really working on making a difference. But when you’re asking the same pool of businesses (for support), that money isn’t going to go as far.”

Addy Hatch


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