City: Western Spokane County, Wash.
Occupation: Spokane County sheriff
Education: Graduated from Rock Springs High School in Wyoming. Graduated from Weber State College with an integrated studies bachelor’s degree in 1985.
Work experience: Became town marshal in Superior, Wyoming in 1990. Joined Rock Springs, Wyoming police force in 1991. Joined Olympia Police Department in 1995. Joined Spokane County Sheriff’s Office as deputy in 1996. Became sergeant in 2004. Appointed Spokane County sheriff by county commissioners in 2006 and won election to the post in November of that year. Re-elected while unopposed in 2010.
Political experience: Former president of the Spokane County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Former president of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. Named to the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Association in 2008. Served as president of that group in 2012.
Military: U.S. Army airborne medical specialist and combat medic, served in Korea, 1987-90.
Family: Married, three grown children.
Investigators probing officer-involved shootings will no longer be required to wait at least 72 hours before interviewing Spokane County Sheriff’s Office employees.
The Washington State Patrol sergeant who shot an unarmed pregnant woman last week during a drug raid has told investigators it was “an accidental discharge.”
Spokane County commissioners accepted no public testimony but aired their own views on a new jail for an hour and a half Tuesday. They then voted 2-1 to confirm a site near the Medical Lake interchange of Interstate 90 and to declare an emergency so land-use changes can be made in time for an April bond measure.
The son of pastor Wayne Scott Creach, killed by a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy last month, urged the Spokane Valley City Council on Tuesday to change its police services contract with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies who initially said an armed assault suspect fired on them before they shot back, wounding him last week, now say they’re unsure if the man shot at them at all. The newly disclosed doubts over who fired first in the Sept. 16 showdown are contained in investigative documents filed in Spokane County Superior Court.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office released the 911 and police dispatch tapes Monday 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 had previously described. Hirzel calls “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 says: “respond medics,” making the same request a second time before a dispatcher advised that medics were en route.
Deputy Brian Hirzel told investigators that he feared for his life before he fired the shot that killed Pastor Wayne Scott Creach. The 733-page investigative file released Thursday by the Spokane Police Department provides the first public glimpse into the deputy’s account of why he opened fire on the 74-year-old man. The documents include forensic, medical and witness reports that detail what happened on Aug. 25 in the parking lot of Creach’s Plant Farm, at 14208 E. Fourth Ave.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Wednesday morning that he was in the process of releasing the identities of deputies who responded over the past five years to crime reports at the nursery where Deputy Brian Hirzel shot and killed pastor Wayne Scott Creach last month. However, Jim Emacio, chief deputy civil prosecuting attorney, said late Wednesday that he was essentially vetoing the sheriff and would keep the information concealed until he has more time to review the request made by The Spokesman-Review under the state’s Public Records Act.
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 apprehended a fleeing man several blocks away by threatening to “blow his head off.” Those incidents were among the 21 contacts Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputies had with Creach or his business, the Plant Farm, over the past five years, according to records obtained by The Spokesman-Review.