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WSP: Details expected today on shooting

More information is expected to be relased today regarding the deputy-involved shooting in north Spokane County last week.

Although witnesses at the scene of the Thursday night shooting said Spokane County sheriff’s Deputies Thad Schultz (left) and David Westlake (right) were fired on first by assault suspect Sean P. Houlihan, investigators are awaiting forensic analysis of firearms found in Houlihan’s pickup before concluding whether Houlihan also fired shots, according to a probable cause affidavit signed on Saturday by Washington State Patrol Trooper Ryan Spangler.

Wasington State Patrol spokesman Trooper Troy Briggs said Wedneday that both deputies have been interviewed. He plans to release more details this afternoon.

A Moses Lake lawyer representing Houlihan said he’s hoping forensics will help determine what happened, but he also said Houlihan and the deputies all were carrying a Glock 9 mm.

Read the full story here.

Past coverage:

Sept: 18 Deputies shoot, wound man

911 recordings released in Creach shooting

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Dispatch traffic from night of Creach shooting

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office released the 911 and police dispatch tapes documenting Deputy Brian Hirzel’s transmissions surrounding his fatal shooting of Spokane Valley pastor Wayne Scott Creach.

The transcript is largely as Spokane police officials described. Hirzel called “code 6,” which means he needs help. 

A few seconds later he says: “I’ve got shots fired, one down, shots fired.” A few seconds after that, Hirzel said: “respond medics.”

He made that call a second time from 14208 E. 4th Ave. before a dispatcher acknowledged the call and informed Hirzel that medics were en route.

Hirzel was in full uniform but in an unmarked car the night of Aug. 25 when Creach, who owned the property Hirzel was parked on, approached with a gun in one hand and a flashlight in the other.

Hirzel said he told Creach repeatedly to drop the gun but that he refused and tucked it into the back waistband of his pants instead, then refused Hirzel’s orders to lay on the ground.

Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker now has the case and has said he hopes to quickly decide on any potential charges against Hirzel.

Hirzel’s order to drop gun was lawful

Although the Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms, state laws passed since then dictate how citizens can legally carry and use weapons.

Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker and other legal experts say the law is crystal clear on this point: A person must follow a lawful order from police.

“When an officer asks you to drop a weapon, you drop it,” Tucker said this week. “Even in the Old West, if a deputy sheriff comes up on an outlaw and says ‘Drop the gun,’ you drop the gun or a gunbattle starts.”

But Alan Creach, son of Wayne Scott Creach, who was killed Aug. 25, said it’s also clear that his father was no “outlaw,” and was well within his rights to carry a gun to protect his property as he had done for years.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse’s story here.

Sept. 17: Police report details pastor’s shooting

Lesser verdict still means life for Lucious

A Spokane man faces life in prison under the state’s 3 strikes law after a jury convicted him in connection with a July 2009 shooting that injured two women.

 Jurors were split on attempted murder and first-degree assault charges against Timothy “Stoney Boy” Lucious by Spokane County prosecutors, citing questions over whether another man may have fired shots at the women.

But the jury foreman said all 12 believed Lucious had banged on the car window and threatened the women with a gun, justifying a second-degree assault conviction.

Superior Court Judge Annette Plese ordered Lucious, 39, held without bail until sentencing on Oct. 14.

Described as a gang member by Spokane police, Lucious already has convictions for two violent crimes.

Under state law, Thursday’s conviction earns him a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Public defender Steven Reich said prosecutors “grossly overcharged” Lucious and said while he’s pleased jurors wouldn’t convict on the murder charges, the outcome is the same for Lucious under the 3-strikes law.

“I have a real problem with the three-strikes law,” Reich said. “It takes discretion away from judges.”

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Sept. 16: Lawyer: Shooting suspect may be wrongly accused

Sept. 14: Prosecution could rest today in 3-strikes trial

June 8: 3-strikes suspect backs out of pro-se plan

March 15: ‘Hardball’ means more charges for Lucious

Jan. 19: Attempted murder charges dropped against Gardner

July 24, 2009: Crosstown melee erupts in gunfire

Drive-by shooting kills New Mexico goat

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Santa Fe are searching for the suspect or suspects in a drive-by shooting that killed a pet goat. 

The shooting happened Sunday evening and killed Maria, a Nigerian dwarf goat who lived with two other goats and other animals at the home in a central-Santa Fe community.

Someone in a blue-green minivan drove up to the fenced yard where the goats are kept and fired three shots from a small-caliber pistol, hitting the animal once in the abdomen and once through a nasal passage. (Two goats who survived the shooting are pictured.)

Maria’s owners, one of whom is an emergency medical technician, tried for more than an hour to care for the dying goat.

“The fact that this was a goat getting killed is bad enough,” Santa Fe Police Chief Aric Wheeler said. “But this is also a drive-by shooting of a home in the middle of the city. That’s a major concern for us.”

Wheeler told the Santa Fe New Mexican that the suspect could face felony charges of animal cruelty, shooting at an occupied building and negligent firearm use.

The goat was one of three owned by two women who live in the home. They also have 12 chickens, four cats, a dog and a duck, most of them rescue animals.

The owners, who didn’t want to be identified, and neighbors said the goats were a local fixture that drew adults and children alike to the yard. Maria in particular would come up to the fence when people walked by.

Reports detail Pastor Creach’s gun use

Pastor Wayne Scott Creach not only routinely carried his .45 caliber pistol on his property, he was known by police to hold theft suspects at gunpoint until officers could arrive and once chased a fleeing suspect several blocks before apprehending him by threatening to “blow his head off.” 

That report was among the 21 contacts Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputies had with Creach or his business, the Plant Farm, over the last five years, according to records obtained by The Spokesman-Review.

On April 14, 2008, for example, Creach saw someone just after midnight riding away on a bicycle from his nursery complex at 14208 E. 4th Ave. in Spokane Valley with what looked like a plant hanging out of the suspect’s backpack.

Read the rest of Thomas Clouse’s story here.

Candidate wants WSP to probe shooting

The Democratic challenger for Spokane County prosecutor on Monday called for the Washington State Patrol to take over the investigation into the fatal shooting of a Spokane Valley pastor.

Spokane lawyer Frank Malone said he had not contacted the WSP, but noted they were already involved in the investigation of the Aug. 25 shooting by Deputy Brian Hirzel as part of a protocol that is designed to avoid having a department investigate itself. “

This investigation is already compromised,” Malone said. “The deputy being allowed to go on vacation was ill-advised and created an unnecessary appearance of coziness with the legal system. The deputy is as interested in a credible investigation as anybody else. He doesn’t want this cloud hanging over him, either.”

Read Tom Clouse’s full story here.

Idaho man admits ‘07 slaying in Coolin

A North Idaho man set to go to trial this week instead pleaded guilty to charges that carry up to 15 years in prison.

Keith Allan Brown, 49, (right) entered Alford pleas last Wednesday in Bonner County District Court to voluntary manslaughter and accessory to grand theft in connection with the January 2007 shooting death of Leslie Carlton Breaw of Priest Lake. 

Brown’s Alford plea means he did not admit guilt involving the killing of Breaw (left), who was shot to death he in Coolin on Jan. 23, 2007, but acknowledged a jury likely would convict him.

Brown and his wife, Tyrah B. Brown, then 25, were arrested in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., in March 2007, accused of using Breaw’s debit card. Authorities seized a station wagon and a sailboat the Browns had purchased, allegedly with money they obtained from a $55,000 escrow check of Breaw’s that had been forged.

The couple returned to Idaho and were charged with first-degree murder; Tyrah Brown (right) pleaded guilty in February 2009 to harboring a wanted felon and theft by recovering/possessing stolen property and received light jail time and probation, according to court records.

 Shortly after his arrest, Brown told the Bonner County Daily Bee that he was trying to get control of a .22-caliber rifle held by Breaw when he accidentally shot Breaw.

Voluntary manslaughter carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years in Idaho. Brown is to be sentenced Nov. 5.

The lengthy case was linked to the resignation of a Bonner County Jail chaplain who publicly objected to an early ruling that Brown was mentally unfit to stand trial.

Report: Sex toys sold from Hirzel’s home

Deputy Brian Hirzel, already under investigation for fatally shooting a Spokane Valley pastor, now is the subject of a new probe.

Hirzel failed to disclose, as required under sheriff’s department rules, that he and his wife are co-owners of a business that sells sex toys online, and could face disciplinary measures if investigators determine he’s taken an active role in the company’s operations, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Monday.

“He told us his wife runs it. If his wife runs it, I can’t control what a spouse does,” Knezovich said, adding that an anonymous tipster advised the Sheriff’s Office on Friday of Hirzel’s connection to the sex toys company. “If he was part of it, there will be some kind of disciplinary action. The discipline will be determined by the facts of the matter.”

RRead the rest of Thomas Clouse’s story here.

Hoopfest suspect pleads to riot, gun charges

One of four men arrested after shots were fired at Hoopfest is expected to leave jail this week. 

Rashjel G. “Reggie” Cage, 24, pleaded guilty to felony riot and unlawful possession of a firearm today in a plea deal that dismissed about a dozen attempted murder charges.

Prosecutors have decided also to drop the attempted murder charges against the three remaining defendants and will instead seek five counts of first-degree assault, one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree assault along with riot and firearms charges.

Cage was accused of passing a gun to Miguel C. Garcia at Hoopfest on June 26.

Garcia, 19, fired several shots into the crowd after approaching rival gang members, police say. The bullets hit three bystanders.

Prosecutors say the men conspired to commit the assaults as part of long-standing rivalry between two gangs. Garcia remains in jail, along with Adam Doe, 19, and Marquis D. Johnson, 22, who prosecutors say were with the men at the time of the shooting.

Cage faces 26 to 34 months in prison when he’s sentenced Dec. 14, but Deputy Prosecutor Steve Garvin said he’ll ask for an exceptionally low sentence if Cage cooperates.

Garvin also recommended Cage be released from jail before his sentencing. Cage’s family said they expect him to be home within a couple of days.

Past coverage:

June 29: Hoopfest shots not ‘surprising’

June 27: Shooting hurts 3, leads to 5 arrests

Off-duty WSP trooper shoots home intruder

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — An off-duty Washington State Patrol trooper shot and killed an intruder who attacked him at his south Kitsap home, according to the Kitsap County sheriff’s office.

An investigation continues, bu the sheriff’s office says it appears the trooper went outside Saturday shortly before midnight to check out a car on his property. When he identified himself as a law enforcement officer to the driver, a fight began and the trooper was struck in the head by a steel rod. Deputies say the trooper was able to struggle to his feet and when his attacker refused to comply with his commands, resorted to lethal force.

The name of the shooting victim, believed to be a 30-year-old South Kitsap man, was not immediately released. He was pronounced dead at Tacoma General Hospital. The trooper was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Gig Harbor for treatment.

Sheriff ruing flap over deputy’s vacation

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is frustrated and caught off-guard by the public reaction to the decision to allow Deputy Brian Hirzel to leave for vacation just hours after he shot and killed a Spokane Valley pastor late last month. 

Knezovich acknowledges that everything with his department ultimately is his responsibility. But he believes he’s been unfairly portrayed in the decision to allow Hirzel to leave town before explaining the encounter that resulted in the death of 74-year-old Wayne Scott Creach.

Hirzel “was already on vacation when I found out he was on vacation,” Knezovich said. “How do I un-ring that bell? I could have said bring him back in. But I would have just countermanded everything that the (investigative) team had done. That was not my role in the investigation. My role was to stay out of it and not influence it.”

Read Tom Clouse’s full story here.

Murder charges dropped in Hoopfest case

Spokane County prosecutors will not pursue the dozens of attempted murder charges filed against four men arrested after shots were fired at Hoopfest.

Deputy Prosecutor Steve Garvin said in court documents filed this week that he will instead seek assault charges against the men, whose lawyers had argued for the dismissal of the charges in court last week, citing lack of probable cause. Superior Court Judge Michael Price was to make a decision on Friday. 

Garvin declined to say why prosecutors decided against attempted murder charges.

“I don’t think that that’s something useful to get out in the public domain,” Garvin said Wednesday. “Call me in a year when the case is done.”

Miguel C. Garcia, 19; Adam Doe, 19; Marquis D. Johnson (right), 22; and Rashjel C. “Reggie” Cage, 24 (left); have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, 10 counts of attempted first-degree murder and single counts of riot and unlawful possession of a firearm for a June 26 shooting in which police say Garcia fired several shots into a crowd, targeting rival gang members but striking three bystanders. Two were hospitalized with minor injuries.  

Under the prosecutor’s proposal, the men, who are in jail, will be charged with five counts of first-degree assault, one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree assault along with riot and firearms charges. Doe also is charged with third-degree assault after a Spokane police officer said the teen struggled violently when he was arrested with the gun used in the shooting.

Spokane County public defender Kari Reardon, who represents Cage, said in court last week that investigators are mistaken to believe the men were conspiring together simply because they were standing together when one allegedly fired the gun.

Prosecutors say Garcia said “we are going to do this” before he fired the gun, but Reardon said that isn’t evidence that the other men knew what he planned to do.

Prosecutors say the men conspired to commit the assaults as part of long-standing rivalry between two gangs.

Two of the alleged assault victims, Kalen J. Bedford and Andre Conway are members of the Blocc Hustlers gang, which is rival to Doe and Cage’s Murder One Crips gang, according to police.

Police say Cage is a gang leader and has been involved in past shootings targeting the Blocc Hustlers.

Bedford and 21-year-old Tyrone Carell, were cited for disorderly conduct after the Hoopfest shooting.

Cage’s brother, Rakee Cage (left, in 2007), told The Spokesman-Review that only Garcia is responsible for the shooting.

“They think we share the same brain,” Rakee Cage said of police and prosecutors. “They’ve got three innocent people in jail.”

He said the shooting was not planned.

“Who plans to do something in front of thousands of people? You might as well walk down to the county jail and knock on the door,” Rakee Cage said.

Rakee Cage, who has a conviction for a gang-related stabbing outside a Spokane nightclub last fall, said police were exaggerating the problem between the two gangs.

“I’ve talked to the Blocc Hustlers,” Cage said. “There might be feuding between two groups, but it’s not really a rivalry.”

Deputy says he saw armed man approach

Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Hirzel told investigators Friday that he saw Pastor Wayne Scott Creach approaching his unmarked patrol car from a distance of about 30 feet with a gun in his hand before they had a verbal confrontation. 

Hirzel said in a videotaped interview that he fired one shot that killed Creach on Aug. 25, according to a news release sent Friday by Spokane Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

“According to Officer Hirzel’s statement and evidence collected at the scene, ultimately there was a close encounter between the officer and Mr. Creach near the officer’s car,” the release said. “Officer Hirzel stated there was a verbal exchange between himself and Mr. Creach prior to the single gunshot being fired. Officer Hirzel’s statement and the evidence confirms only one shot was fired.” 

The news release offered no explanation of what was said or by whom, or why Hirzel felt the need to pull the trigger, killing the 74-year-old pastor in the parking lot of his nursery business at 14208 E. 4th Ave. in Spokane Valley.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse’s story here

Read the full news release by clicking the last link at the end of this post.

Past coverage:

Sept. 3: Pastor buried in Oklahoma

Sept. 1: Deputy’s vacation delays probe into fatal shooting

Sept. 1: Son offers insight into pastor’s fatal encounte

Aug. 31: Officer involved in fatal shooting identified

Aug. 31: Mourners note ‘good example’ set by slain clergyman

Aug. 28: Sheriff offers condolences, withholds details

Aug. 27: Valley officer kills pastor at nursery

Sheriff: Ending vacation could taint probe

The interview that should finally explain why a deputy shot and killed a Spokane Valley pastor will come Friday morning – after the deputy returns from a week-long vacation approved by Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.

Deputy Brian Hirzel left town the day after an Aug. 25 encounter with Pastor Wayne Scott Creach at his sprawling nursery business, the Plant Farm at 14208 E. 4th Ave.

Officials have only said that Hirzel and Creach had some sort of “confrontation” that ended when Hirzel shot Creach moments after the shirtless 74-year-old grabbed his pistol and went outside to investigate what he may have thought was a prowler.

Knezovich said at a hastily called news conference Wednesday that he approved Hirzel’s vacation partly because the county would have been on the hook to pay for the plane tickets and travel costs for Hirzel and his wife.

But the sheriff said his greatest concern was that he didn’t want to “taint” the investigation by making it appear he was forcing Hirzel to submit to the interview.

“This case is more important” than a vacation, Knezovich said. “We have to ensure the integrity of this investigation and I’m not about to do anything that looks coercive that would jeopardize this investigation.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse’s story here.

On Tuesday, Alan Creach said his mother heard a shout and what sounded like three shots. But a deputy kept Imogene Creach from approaching her husband and she didn’t see anyone providing medical aid, her son said.

Read more in this story: Son offers insight into pastor’s fatal encounter

Past coverage:

Aug. 31: Officer involved in fatal shooting identified

Aug. 31: Mourners note ‘good example’ set by slain clergyman

Aug. 28: Sheriff offers condolences, withholds details

Aug. 27: Valley officer kills pastor at nursery

Family seeks answers in guard’s death

Eight years ago, Bassam Al Hayek left a little town near Bethlehem to start a new life away from the political and religious crossfire.

He and his wife settled in Spokane, far away from the Middle East violence he saw as an Arab Christian in the Palestinian territories.

“We knew we would be killed sooner or later,” Al Hayek said of living in the midst of fighting between fundamentalist Muslims and Israeli troops, according to a 2008 Spokesman-Review article. “It was just a matter of by whom and when.”

This week, Al Hayek sat in the living room of his northwest Spokane home, examining pictures of his youngest son’s body. His son, George B. Al Hayek, 26, was the private security officer who was shot to death last week during an altercation with a group of people in an alley outside an east Spokane apartment complex. (Al Hayek is pictured right with son Issa. A memorial to George is pictured above.) 

Police found the gunman, Jason M. Hartell, performing CPR on Al Hayek when they arrived after the shooting, which occurred before 11 p.m. Aug. 24 between the Pepsi bottling plant at 4014 E. Sprague Ave. and the Pacific Plaza Apartments, 4023 E. Pacific Ave. Hartell says he fired in self-defense. 

Read my full story here.

Past coverage:

Aug. 26: Witnesses say slain security guard confronted group

Bassam Al Hayek is a celebrated Palestinian artist (he’s pictured at right in 2008).

Here are past stories about him:

May 22, 2005: Carving a new life

Dec. 24, 2005: Spreading his wings

March 20, 2008: Far away from West Bank, part 1

April 10, 2008: Far away from West Bank, part 2

Last Hoopfest suspect now in Spokane

The last of four men charged with attempted murder for a shooting at Hoopfest has been transported to the Spokane County Jail. 

Marquis D. Johnson, 21, (right) appeared in Superior Court today on two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, 10 counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of riot after arriving in Spokane from the Benton County Jail on Thursday.

Johnson was being held on a probation violation after he was arrested at Hoopfest on June 26. He’d only been out of prison since June 6 after serving about three years for a gun-related assault conviction.

Prosecutors allege Johnson was with Miguel C. Garcia, 19; Adam Doe, 19; and Rashjel C. “Reggie” Cage, 23, when Garcia fired a gun at least three times, injuring three bystanders.

Witnesses said Cage passed the gun to Garcia, who fired it and passed it to Doe, who was arrested at gunpoint after trying to flee the scene, police said.

Johnson was identified “as being present at the time of the shooting in close proximity to Cage and Garcia,” according to court documents. “They were both actively involved in the argument before and after the shooting.”

Kalen J. Bedford, who was arrested the day of the shooting on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, apparently was targeted by the gunfire - he is listed as the intended victim in a fist-degree attempted murder charge.

Five of the 10 alleged attempted-murder victims are identified only as Jane or John Doe. First-degree assault is included as a an alternative charge in each case.

Defense attorneys told a judge last week that prosecutors don’t have a legal basis for the charges, but Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Garvin said the “theory” of his office is quite straightforward: “When you point a gun at someone … what other intent do you have but to cause their death?” 

Defense attorney David Partovi, who is representing Garcia, said after last week’s hearing that under Garvin’s theory, prosecutors should have charged former Spokane police Officer Jay Olsen with attempted murder in connection with his shooting of Shonto Pete on Feb. 26, 2007.

Read more here.

Biker shoots to stop driver; driver arrested

An alleged road rage incident between a driver and motorcyclist Sunday in North Idaho led to the arrest of a 44-year-old Athol man after the biker fire a shot at him.

Keith W. Williams is charged with battery and aggravated assault after a man identified in court documents as Thomas Helton told police he had to fire a small handgun at Williams’ front car tire to stop an attack about 4 p.m.

Witnesses in the area of U.S Highway 95 and Neider Avenue told police that Williams punched Helton in the head as they were stopped at a light, then drove northbound toward Helton and his motorcycle, police said.

Helton fired one round into Williams’ car’s front tire. Williams is charged with aggravated assault for allegedly using his vehicle as a weapon. He’s out of Kootenai County Jail on bond.

Witnesses to the incident are asked to call Coeur d’Alene police at (208) 769-2320.

Hoopfest shooting brings 50+ felony charges

Four men arrested after a shooting at Hoopfest each have been charged with 12 murder-related felonies.

Miguel C. Garcia, 19; Adam Doe, 19; Marquis D. Johnson, 21 (right); and Rashjel C. “Reggie” Cage, 23, (left) all are in custody.

Garcia, Doe and Cage appeared in Superior Court Wednesday afternoon via video from Spokane County Jail; Johnson is in the Benton County Jail in Kennewick. 

The men are charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, 10 counts of attempted first-degree murder and single counts of riot and unlawful possession of a firearm.

First-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault are included as alternative charges.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

June 30: High bonds set for Hoopfest suspects

June 29: Hoopfest shots not ‘surprising’

2 more men charged in Hoopfest shooting

UPDATE: Marquis Johnson is in the Benton County Jail.

A $600,000 felony arrest warrant has been issued for a Spokane man in connection with a shooting at Hoopfest last month.

Spokane County prosecutors have filed assault charges against Marquis D. Johnson, 21 (right); and Rashjel G. Cage, 23, for the June 26 shooting that injured three bystanders. Police identified them from video and witness reports as being involved in the argument that led to gunfire.

Now Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for Johnson’s capture.

He and Cage (bottom left) are charged with three counts of first-degree assault and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree assault. District Court Judge Vance Peterson approved $600,000 bonds for both men.

The accused gunman, 19-year-old Miguel C. Garcia, remains in jail on assault charges.

A 19-year-old suspect also arrested the day of the shooting, Adam Doe, also is in jail on gun and assault on law enforcement for the Hoopfest shooting and assault and escape charges related to an October 2009 stabbing. Cage already pleaded guilty last month to second-degree attempted assault for that same stabbing.

Witnesses said Cage passed the gun to Garcia at Hoopfest in downtown Spokane, who fired several shots before passing the gun to Doe.

An off-duty Spokane police detective witnessed the shooting and followed the men as on-duty officers swarmed the area.

Johnson, who had been released from prison June 6 after serving nearly three years for assault, also was arrested June 26 for a probation violation. It’s unclear when he left jail; a warrant was issued on the new assault charges July 6.

Anyone with information on the men should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters don’t have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Past coverage:

June 30: High bonds set for shooting suspects

June 29: Hoopfest shots not ‘surprising’

June 28: Shooting suspect already charged in stabbing

Son, dad charged in wildlife officer attack

A Grant County teen faces five felony charges, including attempted murder, after police saw he fired shots at a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife police captain Saturday.

Jose J. Garcia-Meraze (left) is charged with unlawful imprisonment for the incident at Crab Creek near Beverly after “he basically disarmed a Fish and Wildlife agent at gunpoint,” said John Turley, Grant County undersheriff.

The 18-year-old also is charged with second-degree assault, attempting to elude and alien in possession of a firearm, Turley said. His father, 60-year-old Nicolas Garcia-Godinez (right), is jailed on a second-degree assault charge for allegedly pulling a knife on another officer.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed holds on both men.

Garcia-Meraze, was fishing without a license at Crab Creek when he pulled a gun on an approaching officer and fled in a car, police reports said. The teen allegedly turn around and drove toward the officer’s marked police vehicle, firing shots and penetrating the driver’s side door with one round. An officer returned fire after the teen attempted to shoot at him a second time, police said.

Garcia-Meraze was arrested after his car stalled on state Route 28 near Ephrata, police said. Both men are in Grant County Jail.

Ferry Co. man convicted in ‘07 fatal shooting

A Ferry County man faces at least 11 years in prison after a jury convicted him of recklessly killing a man who’d let him stay at his rural home.

Philip J. “Jeb” Strong was convicted Monday of first-degree manslaughter for the April 2007 death of Trent V. Irby, 37.

Strong had been living with Irby and Irby’s girlfriend at the home on Tonasket Creek Road about 20 miles north of Republic, Wash., but the couple had asked them to move out.

Strong claimed self defense and “claimed that he was harassed by the victim on numerous occasions leading up the use of force,” said Strong’s lawyer, Stephen Graham. Strong was originally convicted of second-degree murder, but that was overturned on appeal because the jury didn’t have the option of manslaughter, Graham said.

“The prosecution’s contention was that Strong simply snapped and went in there and executed the guy,” Graham said.

But Graham said Irby had a gun that his girlfriend hid from police, because both were felons prohibited from possessing firearms.

Strong has been in the Ferry County Jail since his arrest. He faces 11.5 to 13.5 years in prison when he’s sentenced today.

Past coverage:

April 6, 2007: First-degree murder charges planned in shooting

Fatal gang shots fired outside activist’s home

Gunfire awoke Spokane community activist Cheryl Steele just after midnight Tuesday. 

The founder of the city’s first police substation looked out a window of her home at 2105 W. Boone Ave. and saw a bleeding man laying near her neighbor’s front yard.

Police later identified him as 29-year Nathan D. “Trigger” Gilstrap (left): the city of Spokane’s third homicide victim this year. No suspects have been identified.

Gilstrap’s murder comes after months of deteriorating conditions in the West Central Neighborhood, Steele said.

She started the first police substation in 1992 after two neighborhood girls were kidnapped and murdered. Crime dropped over the next 15 years, Steele said, but assaults, drug houses and gang graffiti are on the raise again as volunteers at the police stations decline.

Read the rest of my story here.

Hoopfest suspect was on home detention

A teenager arrested in connection with a shooting at Hoopfest last month was prohibited from leaving his home unless he was at school or with his parents.

That allegation from prosecutors gave Adam Doe, 19, his third felony charge related to the June 26 shooting - a second-degree escape charge that was filed this week.

Doe appeared on the charge in Superior Court today via video from the jail, where he’s held on $200,000 bail for assault and gun charges, and $50,000 bail for riot and assault charges related to an October 2009 stabbing.

Judge Sam Cozza imposed an additional $7,500 bond today for the escape charge.

If Doe posts bond, he’ll be on home detention and will only be allowed to leave his home between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. if accompanied by his mother or father.

Doe is accused of assaulting a police officer who tried to detain him with a gun investigators believe Miguel C. Garcia, 19, fired at least three times during a gang fight at Hoopfest. The bullets struck three bystanders. Garcia remains in jail on $750,000 bond.

Past coverage:

June 30: High bonds set for shooting suspects

June 29: Hoopfest shots not ‘surprising’

June 28: Shooting suspect already charged in stabbing

Man shot to death by police in Kent, Wash.

KENT, Wash. (AP) — Police in Kent say officers fatally shot a man Wednesday when they believed he was reaching for a weapon.

A police statement did not say whether a weapon was found.

Police described the 42-year-old man as agitated and said he was suspected of striking a woman during a fight Wednesday morning. The man drove off as officers responded.

They later found the disabled car and saw the man run toward a nearby water tower. Police say he was clutching a “shiny object” they believed to be a weapon.

After climbing the tower, the man reportedly told police he was armed and would shoot anyone who approached him. He also said he wanted to die.

Police say the man climbed down after two hours but then threatened officers again before reaching into his pocket. The officers involved are on administrative leave.

Renton police are investigating.

More bail imposed on Hoopfest suspect

A teenager arrested in connection with a shooting at Hoopfest on Saturday will need to pay an additional $50,000 bond to get out of jail, and if he does get out, he’ll be on home detention.

Prosecutors requested the additional bond for Adam Doe for assault and riot charges related to an October 2009 stabbing after Doe was arrested at Hoopfest. Doe, 19, was released from jail on his own recognizance in December under the condition he not possess weapons and he not commit crimes.

The $50,000 bond, requested by Deputy Prosecutor Steve Garvin and approved by Judge Ellen Kalama Clark, is in addition to $200,000 bond imposed Tuesday in District Court, where Doe is charged with third-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm for the Hoopfest incident.

Under Garvin’s request, If Doe posts bond, he’ll be on home detention and will only be allowed to leave his home between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. if accompanied by his mother or father. Doe’s mother has told court officials he isn’t welcome at her home, a judge said Tuesday.

Doe’s public defender, Dennis Dressler, has said Doe was close to resolving the stabbing charges when he was arrested.

Dressler declined to comment today on the proposed plea deal, saying Doe’s new arrest “put a little bit of a wrinkle” in it.

Doe remains in Spokane County Jail, along with suspected gunman Miguel C. Garcia.

Garcia faces three counts of first-degree assault after police said he fired a gun during a gang fight at Hoopfest. The bullets hit three bystanders.

Past coverage:

June 30: High bonds set for shooting suspects

June 29: Hoopfest shots not ‘surprising’

June 28: Shooting suspect already charged in stabbing

June 27: Shooting hurts 3, leads to 5 arrests

Shooting suspect’s mom: He can’t stay here

When a judge ruled that a 19-year-old man arrested after a shooting at Hoopfest Saturday deserved a substantial bond, she noted that his mother has said he isn’t welcome at home.

“She stated she does not want the defendant to stay with her if he is released,” Judge Debra Hayes said Tuesday before approving a $200,000 bond for Adam Doe.

Hayes called Doe and alleged Hoopfest gunman Miguel C. Garcia, 19, a “tremendous risk to this community and many innocent and defenseless bystanders.”

Both men appeared in court Tuesday via video from the jail. Garcia was given a $750,000 bond for three counts of first-degree assault; Doe is charged with unlawful posession of a firearm and third-dgree assault.

The assault charge stems from Doe allegedly reaching for gun when approached by police, which led to an officer drawing his gun. But the officer didn’t fire because of the large crowd, leading to what he described in court documents as a violent struggle with the teenager.

Doe is due back in court today for violating his release conditions on assault and riot charges connected to a stabbing in October.

Read more in my story here.

June 29: Hoopfest shots not ‘surprising’

June 26: Two hospitalized after shooting at Hoopfest

Tips sought on court skipper in wild crash

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest a man who skipped a scheduled plea in a drive-by shooting, then allegedly crashed a car into a northwest Spokane home early the next morning.

Abran L. Gibson, 19, was to plead guilty June 14 to rendering criminal assistance for his role in a shooting in Cheney last February, but he didn’t show up.

The next day, Washington State Patrol troopers say he was driving when a 2006 Hyundai Sonata crashed into a northwest Spokane home after he fled a traffic stop about 2 a.m.

A warrant was issued June 17 for Gibson’s arrest on charges that prosecutors said were to be dismissed had he taken the plea deal: drive-by shooting, riot and first-degree assault.

Gibson was arrested Feb. 21 after police say he was with a 17-year-old boy, Damon Morris, who shot a man’s hand.

Two other boys are charged as juveniles with rendering criminal assistance.

Gibson has been out of jail since April. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Tipsters don’t have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Past coverage:

June 15: Fleeing driver crashes into north Spokane home

Feb. 25: 3 teens charges as adults in Cheney shooting

Court skipper wanted in car-house crash

A man accused of crashing his car into a northwest Spokane home early today was scheduled to plead guilty Monday to a charge related to a Cheney shooting, but he didn’t show up.

Now Abran L. Gibson, 19, is wanted on new charges after Washington State Patrol troopers say he crashed a 2006 Hyundai Sonata into a northwest Spokane home in a police chase early Tuesday.

Gibson allegedly fled troopers after they tried to stop him for a suspected traffic violation about 2 a.m.

Read the rest of my story here.

Attempted-murder charge filed in shooting

A 36-year-old Los Angeles man accused of a shooting in Spokane has been charged with attempted murder.

Andrew T. Burns is to be arraigned on the charge this afternoon in Superior Court. He was arrested on a first-degree assault charge June 3 after allegedly shooting Kenneth R. Grooms, 40, in a confrontation down the block from Grooms’ home near East Mallon Avenue and North Madelia Street.

Burns is a suspect in ongoing crack cocaine investigation. He was arrested in February in connection with the probe but has not been charged.

Past coverage:

June 5: Man held in shooting also suspect in ongoing drug case

Feb. 11: Cocaine bust targets gang members