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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Parking lot shooting lands man in jail

Meghann M. Cuniff Staff writer

The weekend shooting outside of a Spokane motel followed a fight over a girl, authorities believe.

Police booked Anthony R. Covert, 18, into the Spokane County Jail Saturday on one count of first-degree attempted murder after witnesses say he sprayed 10 rounds at two men in a parking lot at the West Wynn Motel, 2701 W. Sunset Blvd., late Friday, according to arrest papers filed Monday in Spokane County District Court.

Police arrived about 11:45 p.m. to find Shane L. Hagedorn, 27, suffering from gunshot wounds. Officers followed a blood trail leading from the street outside the hotel to his room.

Witnesses say Hagedorn and Joseph L. Castagna had confronted Covert and Ricky E. Grubbs after Grubbs called Daja M. Varnell at the hotel, according to Covert’s arrest papers.

Varnell told police Grubbs had been harassing her, and that Hagedorn argued with Grubbs on the phone before agreeing to fight in the parking lot, according to the arrest papers.

Covert told police he brought a stolen .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun and fired it at the two after he saw Hagedorn take his coat off and “reach behind his back as if he had something,” according to court documents. “(Covert) stated that he did not realize the victim had been shot because the victim was able to run away.”

Covert fled on foot but was captured with the help of a sheriff’s dog. He remains in jail in lieu of $750,000 bail. Hagedorn was treated and released from Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Reached by phone, Castagna said the fight “was over nothing” and said the police questioned him for hours “like I was the one shooting at me.”

Also reached by phone, Grubbs disputed police and witness accounts, especially Varnell’s claim that he was stalking her.

“It’s just ridiculous that these accusations would be thrown against me,” he said.