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SPD officers who shot murder suspect identified

Fri., May 2, 2014, 5:41 p.m.

The Spokane Police Department has identified Sgt. John Gately, Detective Neil Gallion and Officer Jay Kernkamp as the three officers who shot and killed murder suspect Jeremy Arnold Tuesday when the returned to the scene of a murder, rammed through a roadblock and got out of his truck with what appeared to be a pistol in his hand.

Numerous officers were investigating the body of a woman found in his home at 2512 N. Standard St. when Arnold arrived on scene. The woman, identified as Tracy Fergerstrom, 46, was stabbed to death.

Video recorded by KXLY shows Arnold, 37, getting out of his truck and confronting police.

Gately has been with the department for 23 years and is a hostage negotiator and president of the Spokane Police Guild. He has received numerous awards and citations, including the Silver Star Award in 2004 for his work as a negotiator with an active shooter at the Lewis and Clark High School in 2003. In that incident other officers shot 16-year-old Sean Fitzpatrick, who survived his wounds.

Gately was involved in the fatal shooting of a mentally ill man, 38-year-old Blaine Dalrymple, in 1995. The officers said they were forced to fire after Dalrymple lunged at them with a jagged 9-inch piece of broken mirror in a narrow hallway. The shooting was ruled justified by the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office. The family later filed a civil lawsuit alleging the use of excessive force. In 1999 a jury found that there was no excessive force.

Gallion has been with the department for 20 years and currently works as a Major Crimes detective. He previously served on the SWAT team for 19 years and is an active shooter training instructor. Gallion has received several awards and numerous letters of commendation.

He was suspended for two days after a botched sexual assault investigation in 2006. Spokane firefighter Daniel Ross reportedly had sex with a 16-year-old girl in a fire station while on duty and took explicit pictures of her. Gallion was one of two detectives who viewed the pictures and told the firefighter to delete them instead of collecting them as evidence. Charges were never filed against Ross because of a lack of evidence.

Kernkamp has been with the department for eight years and is a SWAT medic. In 2007 he shot and wounded 19-year-old Taylor J. Davis after Davis reportedly rammed a patrol car and knocked another officer off his feet. The shooting was ruled justified by the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office.

Davis was charged with assault and several other crimes in relation to the incident. He was found guilty of all charges in 2009 and sentenced to 64 months in prison.


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