August 18, 2014 in City, Region

Stevens Co. prosecutor: No charges in officer-involved shooting

Duane Johnson justified in use of deadly force, prosecutors say
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Stevens County prosecutors will not seek charges against a sheriff’s detective who shot and killed a man armed with a shotgun following a firefight in Rice, Washington, this spring.

Brendan K. Wright, 41, fired multiple shotgun rounds at Duane Johnson, a detective with the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office, during the altercation March 25, according to investigators. A homeowner had called Johnson - a neighbor - directly, saying an unruly man was acting aggressively outside their home. Before Johnson arrived at the house, the detective called dispatch and put on a Sheriff’s Office uniform, according to investigators.

Johnson found Wright sitting near the driveway of the home, and Wright began shooting immediately in Johnson’s direction, according to investigators. Johnson was wounded in the hand and ear, while a single bullet struck Wright in the chest, killing him.

Wright’s blood tested positive for alcohol above the legal driving limit at the time he was killed, according to investigators.

Three adults and two children were inside the home when the shooting took place, according to investigators. They told police they credited Johnson with saving their lives, according to the charging decision prepared by Stevens County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Rasmussen and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lech Radzimski.

“A reasonable officer would conclude that Mr. Wright posed a serious threat of physical harm or death to the officer and others,” the prosecutors wrote in their decision declining to file charges. The investigation was conducted by the Spokane Investigative Regional Response team.


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