An off-duty Liberty Lake police officer died in his personal vehicle early Friday morning in north Spokane.
Investigators have not released details on Sgt. Clint Gibson’s death, but Liberty Lake Police Chief Brian Asmus said he understood Gibson had been traveling at a high rate of speed and was not wearing his seat belt when his car ran off the road in the 1000 block of West Francis Avenue around 1:45 a.m.
Gibson had been with the 10-man police department since April 2002 and was promoted to sergeant in 2007, making him second in command.
“This is just tragic for this city and his family,” Mayor Steve Peterson said. “He was just a super guy. You couldn’t ask for a better officer.”
Asmus said he received word of the accident from dispatch shortly after Spokane police responded to the scene, and he and the department’s chaplain notified Gibson’s wife and four children of his death.
“Under his leadership, I had very little worry about when I left the city,” Asmus said.
Almost everyone in the small department gathered at the Liberty Lake police station to grieve Friday. “We’re all quite shocked by this,” Asmus said. “We are all like family here. It is like losing a brother.”
Gibson previously worked as a reserve officer with the Spokane police and as a full-time officer for the Pullman and Colfax departments. He was Liberty Lake’s firearms instructor, emergency vehicle operations course instructor and defensive tactics instructor, and a member of the regional Special Response Team.
Asmus said he was grooming Gibson to take over the department as chief someday. “He achieved so much,” Asmus said. “Sergeant Gibson was an amazing person.”
Spokane Police Major Crimes detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding Gibson’s death.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner will release the official cause of death.