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.
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.
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 Office 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.
Earlier this week, 13 days after a cop fatally shot a citizen on his own property, Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick appeared before the public. Basic information about the shooting of Wayne Scott Creach has been slow to emerge and shamefully scarce. Just days earlier, Kirkpatrick’s department had issued a news release describing the Aug. 25 event as a “close encounter” with a “verbal exchange” – paltry, insufficient generalities that could have accurately been stated the morning after the shooting.
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.
Santa Claus. The Tooth Fairy. The Easter Bunny … The Keebler Elves. Open wide, compadres. We have a brand new myth to swallow. It’s called… “The Phantom Baton Blow.” Believing in magic is about the best way to make sense out of what Deputy Brian Hirzel says happened the night Wayne Scott Creach was fatally shot Aug. 25 in Spokane Valley.
Spokane County sheriff’s Deputy Brian Hirzel said he ordered pastor Wayne Scott Creach to drop his gun multiple times, struck the 74-year-old man in the leg with a police baton and fired only after the property owner began to draw the gun out of his waistband, an investigator said Tuesday in the first detailed account of the Aug. 25 incident that resulted in Creach’s death. At no time did Creach aim his weapon at Hirzel, according to Spokane Police Lt. Dave McGovern, who supervises the detectives who investigate major crimes.
Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich plans to keep his bullhorn, but he soon will have a more subtle way to warn Spokane County residents of emergencies. Starting Monday, residents may register their cell phones, voice-over-Internet phones and e-mail addresses to receive emergency messages.
Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Hirzel said he ordered Pastor Wayne Scott Creach to drop his gun multiple times, struck the 74-year-old man in the leg with a police baton and fired only after the property owner began to draw the gun out of his waistband, an investigator said Tuesday in the first detailed account of the Aug. 25 incident that resulted in Creach’s death.
The deputy who shot and killed a Spokane Valley pastor on Aug. 25 told investigators that he used a baton on Wayne Scott Creach and repeatedly ordered him to drop his gun before firing his own pistol, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich confirmed Sunday. Alan Creach, son of Scott Creach, said Sunday that investigators told him about Deputy Brian Hirzel’s statement that he’d struck his father once with a baton, but that investigators had asked him not to disclose that detail to the media. A news release issued Friday by the Spokane Police Department made no mention of the baton.
The deputy who shot and killed a Spokane Valley pastor Aug. 25 told investigators that he used a baton on Wayne Scott Creach, and repeatedly ordered him to drop his gun before firing his own pistol, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich confirmed Sunday. But the pastor’s family said there was no autopsy evidence of a baton strike on their father.