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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hillyard shooting leaves one man dead

A deal for drugs, electronics and sex turned deadly in Hillyard late Tuesday night.

Police say Brandon Compogno died of a gunshot wound at 2418 E. Empire Ave. after he discovered another man outside with his girlfriend and told him to run or get shot.

The other man, identified in a search warrant as Joseph Buskirk, instead drew his own handgun and shot Compogno. Buskirk claimed self-defense and answered police questions after he was found in a home in the 1900 block of East Sinto Avenue. He was not arrested.

Police also questioned Compogno’s girlfriend, who was present during the shooting.

The girlfriend told police she had arranged to trade “pills” and sex with Buskirk for a Blu-ray player.

The exchange was interrupted outside when Compogno arrived home and drew a gun on Buskirk, police said in the search warrant. Compogno led Buskirk into the home at gunpoint, where he took two tablet computers and cellphones belonging to Buskirk.

Buskirk told police Compogno offered him a choice: Leave without saying a word to anyone, or Compogno would lead him “downstairs and blow his brains out.”

The two men then left the house with Compogno telling Buskirk to run or he would shoot him, according to statements given to police. Buskirk pulled a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband and fired “three to six times” at Compogno.

Buskirk told police he had sold opiates to Compogno’s girlfriend in the past. Before leading him inside, Compogno accused his girlfriend of having an affair, according to witness statements to police. Buskirk told police he had an arrangement with the girlfriend to have sex the following day.

Major Crimes Lt. Mark Griffiths said charges may yet be filed in the case. Buskirk was released Wednesday after questioning because there was not probable cause to hold him on homicide charges. Police recovered both guns and remained at the Empire Avenue home for most of Wednesday morning. The shooting does not appear to be gang-related, police said.

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