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In brief: Officer in shooting hailed in LC incident

Sat., April 5, 2014

One of five Spokane police officers who fatally shot an armed robbery suspect late last month was involved in the shooting of a Lewis and Clark High School student in 2003 who brought a gun to school and fired in a classroom.

Sgt. Kevin Keller received multiple commendations from the department for his response to a 16-year-old student armed with a handgun and folding knife on Sept. 22, 2003. Sean Fitzpatrick fired a round into the wall of a classroom where a teacher and students were eating lunch that day, according to news reports. He later pointed the gun at a SWAT officer before Keller and two other officers opened fire, striking Fitzpatrick in the jaw, arm and stomach.

Fitzpatrick survived and later wrote a letter of apology to the school. In the recent fatal shooting, Stephen Corkery, 30, was killed during a standoff in the 1500 block of West Grace Avenue on March 26. Corkery was suspected in 10 recent armed robberies.

Girl leaving school describes threat

A 12-year-old girl told Spokane County sheriff’s deputies Thursday that a man in a pickup truck pulled up next to her as she walked down the street from Opportunity Elementary School and tried to talk to her and later showed a handgun.

The girl told deputies she was walking home from the school on 10th Avenue in the Spokane Valley. She told deputies the man was white, in his early 30s, had a stocky build and a dirty blonde beard. He was driving a newer, full-size dark blue pickup truck.

The girl said she yelled at him to leave her alone and ran into a neighbor’s yard. That’s when she said he pulled out a handgun and placed it on his dashboard while telling her to calm down. He eventually drove away after she continued yelling.

The girl said she had seen the same man Saturday night while she was having a sleepover with a friend in a camp trailer in her yard. She and her friend saw the man looking inside the trailer window and used a cellphone to call her father, who was inside the house. The man was gone when the father came outside, a news release said.

Rape suspect found dead near CdA

A man suspected of raping a 14-year-old girl in Montana was found dead Friday near milepost 421 of U.S. Highway 95 south of Coeur d’Alene.

Investigators believe William R. Baldwin, 37, committed suicide, according to a Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Baldwin, of DeBorgia, Mont., was wanted on a probation warrant and was a person of interest in a rape investigation in Mineral County, Montana, the release said.

According to the Shoshone News Press, a Shoshone County deputy attempted to stop Baldwin’s silver Chevy truck along I-90 near Wallace on Wednesday. The driver escaped by driving through the south fork of the Coeur d’Alene River on the north side of I-90 near Gondola Road. The abandoned truck was found after it was driven up a steep mountainside, the newspaper said.

The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office said a Forest Service truck stolen in Smelterville early Friday was found with Baldwin’s body.

Governor vetoes raise for himself

BOISE – Idaho Gov. Butch Otter on Friday issued his first and only veto of this year’s legislative session, invoking his line-item veto power to nix an $1,800 appropriation for a 1.5 percent raise for the governor next year.

“While I appreciate the Legislature’s intentions in approving a pay increase for the governor, it is not my desire to accept this increase in the context of having not recommended a similar change in compensation for our valued state employees,” Otter wrote in his veto message.

Otter recommended zero raises for state employees next year; the Legislature instead approved merit raises to average 2 percent, with half of that permanent and half as a one-time bonus. Separately, lawmakers granted raises to all top state elected officials, mostly 1.5 percent per year for the next four years.

Driver passes out in drive-thru lane

A man was found passed out drunk in his truck in a Jack in the Box drive-thru lane on Pines Road early Friday.

An employee at the restaurant called police shortly after midnight to report that a white Ford Expedition had been blocking the drive-thru lane for 15 minutes and the driver appeared to be unconscious, according to court documents. The officer who arrived at the business reported that Jonathan E. Meyers was “obviously intoxicated” and failed sobriety tests.

Meyers has four previous convictions for DUI and a long history of traffic infractions, court documents state.

A man following a suspected car prowler Wednesday was hit in the head with a metal object during a brief confrontation, according to the Spokane Police Department.

The man told police that another man broke into his car in the 5300 block of North Wall Street just before 3 p.m. Wednesday. He followed the suspect to the area of Howard Street and Rowan Avenue when the suspect reportedly turned and hit him. His injuries required stitches but were not life-threatening, police said.

The suspect is described as a white male between 20 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 11 inches tall with a thin build, bad teeth and faded blue tattoos. His hair was shaved short and he was wearing jeans and a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt.

Hunger strikers out of solitary

SEATTLE – Lawyers who sued the federal government on behalf of about 20 immigrant hunger strikers at a Washington state detention facility say their clients have been released from solitary confinement.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and Columbia Legal Services sued on behalf of the men, and say they were returned to the general population by Friday morning after six days in solitary confinement.

In the lawsuit filed this week, the lawyers said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was unlawfully retaliating against the men for exercising their right to free speech.

The agency denied that and said the men had been intimidating others to join their hunger strike.

The hunger strikers were protesting U.S. immigration law as well as the conditions at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.


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