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Wednesday, April 8, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane police identify officer who fatally shot armed man near Esmeralda Golf Course

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 29, 2019

Spokane police have released the name of the officer who shot and killed an armed man last week near Esmeralda Golf Course.

Witnesses said the man, identified as David W. Shafer, 61, was threatening to kill himself, according to a news release. He was shot by Spokane police Officer Caleb Martin.

People told investigators Shafer had a history of suicidal thoughts and previously attempted to kill himself, according to court records.

Police received a call from people who were trying to comfort a suicidal man Oct. 23. Before officers arrived, the person who called and another acquaintance tried to disarm Shafer, but he broke free and ran inside his home.

Spokane police officers set up a perimeter around the area, and Shafer came out of his home with a firearm within a half-hour of officers arriving.

Officers ordered him to drop the weapon and, according to police, he raised his firearm and an officer shot him twice. Police Chief Craig Meidl said in an interview last week that the officer who fired shots, Martin, fired at least two rounds from a rifle from about three houses away.

First responders tried to save Shafer’s life, but he died at the scene.

Police found two semi-automatic handguns, one that a witness took from Shafer and a second near his body.

Shafer was previously convicted of violent crimes, drug-related offenses and weapons charges and was barred from owning firearms, according to a warrant filed by sheriff’s investigators to search Shafer’s home for weapons and video evidence.

Martin has worked at the Spokane Police Department since July 2016 and has received three commendation letters, according to a news release.

He was involved in a 2017 officer-involved shooting on the South Hill. In that case, Martin and another Spokane police officer, Kelsey Scott, were responding to a domestic violence call when they shot and killed Daniel Craven, according to The Spokesman-Review archives. The Spokane County prosecutor’s office ruled the shooting justified.

The SIRR Investigator team, which includes Washington State Patrol and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, is investigating the Oct. 23 incident and reviewing body-camera footage.

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