Spokane Sheriff’s deputy wounded in Colbert standoff identified
March 10, 2017 Updated Fri., March 10, 2017 at 11:06 p.m.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded in the shoulder during a SWAT standoff Monday has been identified as Sgt. Harold Whapeles.
The SWAT team had responded to the home of Dean J. Bellamy in Colbert for a domestic violence call. During the hourslong standoff, deputy Robert Cunningham fired a “less lethal” round at Bellamy. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Bellamy went back inside his house, retrieved a gun and came out firing.
The deputies who returned fire are Det. Mike McNees, Cpl. Jeff Welton, Deputy Jason Petrini and Deputy David Totman. All are members of the SWAT team.
Whapeles, a 16-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office and a member of the SWAT team for 13 years, had surgery to remove the bullet from his shoulder and went home from the hospital on Wednesday. He is expected to make a full recovery.
He released a short statement through the Sheriff’s Office Friday:
“I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from local area law enforcement, the many other area first responders and the public,” his statement said. “My family and I are forever grateful for the unbelievable support of this community.”
According to the Spokane County Medical Examiner, Bellamy died of a gunshot wound to the head. The medical examiner is still investigating whether the wound was self-inflicted.
The Spokane Police Department is leading the investigation into the incident as part of the Spokane Investigative Regional Response team.
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