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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Spokane

Man charged in Manito Park shooting is victim’s friend, family says

The suspect in an alleged shooting Saturday morning in Spokane’s Manito Park apparently knew the victim he claims to have shot accidentally.

Jensen D. Stauffer, 18, was booked into Spokane County Jail on suspicion of third-degree assault after turning himself in to police Saturday, court documents say.

On Monday, Judge Gregory Sypolt set Stauffer’s bail at $30,000, to the chagrin of his friends and family.

“It was harsh,” said a visibly upset Randy Stauffer, the suspect’s father.

Stauffer’s family and court documents indicate he and the victim, Aspen Phetmisay, know each other. In a police interview, Stauffer said he spent Friday night at Phetmisay’s home, and they went to the park together the next morning.

His family said the shooting was an accident, and that Phetmisay was one of Stauffer’s best friends.

“I think that would have really helped if some of that was brought up on record,” Randy Stauffer said. “I’m very sure Jensen did not want for this to affect anyone.”

About 11:30 a.m., police received reports of a shot fired north of the intersection of Manito Place and Manito Boulevard. Witnesses said they saw four people atop a hill and that one was “clasping her arm and screaming.”

Police believe a bullet may have ricocheted with fragments striking Phetmisay, court documents say. She was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries, where she was treated and released.

After being uncooperative with investigators, Stauffer confessed to shooting Phetmisay, saying it was an accident and that the “gun went off” in his pocket, court records show.

Prosecutors originally asked for bail to be set at $100,000.

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