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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane officer injured, one man dead in Spokane Valley shooting

Washington State Patrol troopers stand near the site where a Spokane police officer was shot Friday at the Rodeway Inn & Suites in Spokane Valley. On Wednesday, Spokane police identified the officer struck by gunfire as Juan Rodriguez.  (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

A man, killed seconds later by police, shot a Spokane Police Officer in the leg in a parking lot of the Rodeway Inn & Suites motel in Spokane Valley on Friday around noon.

Airway Heights police responded to a carjacking call Thursday morning, which led police to believe there were two suspects in a truck armed with a .45 caliber pistol, according to a Spokane Police Department news release.

A car chase with Airway Heights police and Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies became dangerous and law enforcement aborted the chase, the release said.

Several hours later, Spokane police spotted the truck and tried to conduct a traffic stop, but the truck sped away, Sgt. Terry Preuninger said.

“They drove so recklessly, they drove the wrong way down a one way, that we stopped chasing them,” Preuninger said. “It was just so dangerous to the public.”

Spokane police got information about the suspects’ location Friday around 10:30 a.m. and started following the truck. As officers moved into county jurisdiction, Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to spike the truck’s tires to slow it down, Preuninger said.

Officers followed the truck to the Rodeway Inn parking lot, where the lead officer of the Police Anti-Crime Team approached it, Preuninger said.

A man got out of the vehicle with a gun, and the man and one officer fired their weapons, Preuninger said.

Paula Nay, an employee at Western Trailers located diagonally from the motel, said she heard about five gun shots.

The officer struck by gunfire is in the hospital in stable condition. The man who exited the truck died at the scene, Preuniger said.

Witnesses said another man ran from the scene of the shooting into the motel lobby, where officers detained him.

Police detained and questioned several people either as witnesses or due to possible involvement, Preuninger said.

At least one officer on scene wore a body camera. Investigators will review any footage captured by the body camera, as well as any captured by cameras in the area, according to the release.

The Spokane Independent Investigative Response Team, comprised of multiple agencies in Eastern Washington including the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington State Patrol and the Spokane Police Department, investigated the scene. Washington State Patrol will manage the case.

Once the SIIR Team investigation is complete, it will forward the case to the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office for review.