January 21, 2014 in City

Spokane Police release names of officers involved in shooting

Spokane Police Department photo

From left, Christopher Conrath, Terry Preuninger, Michael Schneider and Holton Widhalm of the Spokane Police Department
(Full-size photo)

Spokane police released the name of four officers involved in the shooting last week of Aaron D. Johnson outside the Truth Ministries shelter.

The four officers who responded are Officer Holton Widhalm, a six-year veteran of the Spokane Police Department; Officer Michael Schneider, also with six years at the department; Officer Christopher Conrath, a three-year veteran; and Sgt. Terry Preuninger, a 21-year veteran.

Preuninger was involved in an on-duty shooting in 1994 that was ruled justified by the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office.

Officers responded on Jan. 16 to a report that a man was threatening people with a knife at the shelter, police said last week.

They found Johnson, 29, in an alley behind the shelter. He refused commands to drop the knife and advanced on officers, police said.

Two officers fired guns, according to police. Department spokeswoman Monique Cotton said the Washington State Patrol is responsible for identifying the two officers who fired their weapons. Washington State Patrol spokesman Trooper Jeff Sevigney said investigators are not yet ready to identify which officers fired.

Johnson was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. He has since been moved to Spokane County Jail and is being held on a charge of second-degree assault.

In 2013, Johnson was sentenced to 364 days in jail and 24 months probation for two counts of fourth-degree assault as well as eight months in jail with credit given for 247 days served after he pleaded guilty to domestic violence-riot.

This story is developing and will be updated.

There are 259 comments on this story. Click here to view comments >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email