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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Armed man shot ‘several times’ by Spokane County deputies suspected of punching girlfriend, choking 2-year-old son

UPDATED: Tue., March 10, 2020

A Spokane Valley domestic violence suspect shot ‘several times’ by sheriff’s deputies on Sunday wielded multiple guns, according to court documents.

The girlfriend of Lanz E. Zeppa, 49, told investigators she came home from the store Sunday to find Zeppa drunk, at which point he began punching her in the head and choking their 2-year-old son, court documents say. When Zeppa tried to punch her again, she said he punched their son instead.

The girlfriend said she then retreated to the bathroom and held the door shut. Zeppa plunged a knife through the door near the handle and kicked at the door, according to court documents. Zeppa later went into another room, and the girlfriend said she ran outside to her vehicle.

Spokane County deputies arrived soon after and encountered Zeppa in the courtyard of the apartment complex at 12111 E. Cataldo Ave., court documents say. A witness told investigators that Zeppa, appearing to be drunk, fell while leaving the apartment building with three rifles and a holstered pistol.

The girlfriend said she heard deputies tell Zeppa to put down his gun several times before hearing gunshots, according to court documents. Another witness said he heard several gunshots.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said no deputies were injured during the incident on Sunday.

Zeppa has no felony criminal record in Washington, according to court records. A Spokane County Superior Court judge signed a $100,000 warrant for Zeppa’s arrest Monday.

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center did not list Zeppa as a patient Tuesday evening, and the Spokane County Jail did not list him as an inmate.

The Washington State Patrol is leading the investigation into the shooting.

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