A driver was shot and killed by a Spokane County deputy Sunday night after a chase through Spokane Valley.
A Spokane Valley deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop at about 6:45 p.m. after witnessing reckless and erratic driving near Valleyway Avenue and Mullan Road, according to a news release from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Rather than stopping, the driver fled, and the deputy gave chase. The suspect continued to drive recklessly, hitting parked cars and driving into opposing lanes of travel, according to the sheriff’s office.
According to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office, a deputy attempted to immobilize the suspect’s car using his patrol vehicle at Sprague Avenue and University Road. Both the patrol car and the suspect’s car sustained damage, but the suspect remained mobile, the sheriff’s office said.
The suspect drove toward another marked patrol car and two deputies, the sheriff’s office said.
That’s when one deputy shot the suspect. In a video a witness provided to KHQ, four shots can be heard.
Deputies provided first aid until firefighters and medics arrived, but the suspect died on scene.
Friends and family have identified the driver as Nicholas Cory Kausshen, according to KHQ. Kausshen’s uncle, Michael Kausshen, said his nephew, who went by Cory, had recently been released from prison and had been trying to get back on his feet. He said he had been trying to stay out of trouble, but it was hard him to avoid that environment when he returned to Spokane.
According to court records, Nicholas Cory Kausshen, 41, had been arrested for prior driving offenses including reckless driving and eluding police. He had recently been released from prison in the state’s ongoing efforts to reduce its incarcerated population to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak. According to Department of Corrections documents, Kausshen was imprisoned for possession of a stolen vehicle and was released in April.
Michael Kausshen told KHQ that his nephew could have handled the situation differently, but said deputies also could have resolved it without killing him.
“Could they have wounded him, yes, they didn’t have to kill him,” he said.
The deputy who shot the Kausshen was placed on administrative leave along with two other deputies. This is standard protocol when officers use lethal force.
The Spokane Independent Investigative Response Team took over the on-scene investigation with the Spokane Police Department as the managing agency.
The names of the deputies involved will be released by the sheriff’s office at a later date. The official cause of death will be released by the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office.
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