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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sheriff

Related Coverage, Page 2

Sheriff ends 72-hour rule

Investigators probing officer-involved shootings will no longer be required to wait at least 72 hours before interviewing Spokane County Sheriff’s Office employees.

WSP sergeant: Shooting that wounded woman ‘accidental’

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.”

Medical Lake site chosen for jail in 2-1 vote

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.

Creach son questions Valley police contract

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 no longer assert that suspect fired first

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.

Knezovich says he wouldn’t sign platform

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Sheriff releases tapes of dispatches after pastor’s shooting

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.

Police report details pastor’s shooting

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.

Newspaper request on deputies identities under review

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.

Sheriff’s Office reports detail pastor’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 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.

Candidate wants WSP in charge in Creach case

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.

Sheriff’s Office looks at Hirzel’s role in online sex toy business

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.

Vestal: Kirkpatrick’s ‘protocol’ lecture missed the point

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.

Sheriff frustrated by vacation flap

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.

Doug Clark: Baton story fails to clear cop’s conduct

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.

Police detail Hirzel account of shooting that killed pastor

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.

Spokane County unveils new alert system

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.

Creach drawing gun when shot, police say

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.

Deputy says he hit pastor with baton

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.

Deputy says he struck pastor with 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.