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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Creach family seeks $15mil from county

The family of slain Spokane Valley pastor Wayne Scott Creach has filed a $14.7 million wrongful death claim against Spokane County, which is the first step in filing a civil lawsuit.

“A jury may come in and feel highly aggravated at what happened,” said the pastor’s son, Alan Creach. “They may award a very large sum.”

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, who is on vacation, said Tuesday that he knows the claim has been filed. “Since it’s gone into the lawsuit phase, I don’t have any comments, per our legal advice.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Deputy cleared in pastor’s fatal shooting

The Spokane County sheriff’s deputy who shot a 74-year-old Spokane Valley pastor last year will face no disciplinary action over the fatal encounter.

Deputy Brian Hirzel followed all departmental policies and procedures during the Aug. 25 encounter with Wayne Scott Creach (pictured), Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Wednesday in announcing the results of his internal investigation. He met with members of the Creach family earlier in the day to advise them of the findings.

“This was a very tragic situation. I’m saddened for the community. I’m saddened for the Creach family. I’m saddened for law enforcement,” Knezovich said. “But it came down to a matter of choices. For Deputy Hirzel, when (Creach) reached for that weapon, he was faced with a deadly threat.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Sept. 30: Sheriff drops the wait for police shooting interviews

Spokane Valley legislators push bill on unmarked patrol cars

Republican legislators Matt Shea and Larry Crouse have brought forward a bill in the State Legislature to make it illegal for the Spokane County Sheriff's Office to park unmarked patrol cars on private property. This has been something pushed for by the family of Wayne Scott Creach, who was shot last August after a confrontation with a uniformed sheriff's deputy in an unmarked car. Reporter Tom Clouse has more details here.

SR: Delaying Info On Tragedy Ill-Advised

Law enforcement leaders tell us that officers don’t get special treatment. Some tell us that they ought to be held to a higher standard. But the rules are clearly different when one of them is involved in a fatal incident. It is department policy to forgo an interview with an officer for the first 48 hours. Policy also dictates that an officer not be named for the first 72 hours. That’s why the details are sketchy. But Spokane police Maj. Scott Stephens said no further information will be released until next Thursday, which is more than a week after the incident. This only raises more questions. When will the shooter be interviewed? Will he or she be named once the 72 hours has passed? If not, what’s special about this case? What about witnesses? Are there any witnesses?/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Is the officer involved in the shooting of a Spokane Valley pastor/nursery owner getting special treatment by investigating agency?