A 15-year veteran of law enforcement in the Spokane area was identified Wednesday as the Spokane police officer who was injured in a gunfire exchange with a 31-year-old suspect in a carjacking Friday. The suspect was killed.
Officer Juan Rodriguez fired at Joshua Clayton Brant, who was pronounced dead in the parking lot of the Rodeway Inn & Suites, 6309 E. Broadway Ave., according to a police department news release Wednesday.
Rodriguez was shot in the leg. He was treated and released from the hospital Friday, police have said.
Rodriguez is the first Spokane police officer to be struck by gunfire in the line of duty since 1991, said Sgt. Terry Preuninger, a spokesman for the department. A Spokane police captain was struck by gunfire in that case from 29 years ago following a high-speed pursuit that began in Stevens County.
Brant was pursued by police following a reported carjacking the day before. Law enforcement had twice tried to stop his car, according to the department, but had called off pursuits due to danger to the public. Spokane police, in coordination with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, tracked Brant to the motel parking lot Friday morning, when he exchanged gunfire with Rodriguez, according to police.
At least one witness was detained at the scene, but there were no additional arrests following the incident Friday, Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeff Sevigney said. The WSP is heading up the investigation into the shooting as part of the Spokane Independent Investigative Response team review of the shooting.
Rodriguez served nine years with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Spokane Police Department in 2014, according to a news release from Spokane police.
Detectives are continuing to investigate the shooting by interviewing witnesses. Anyone with information about the incident Friday is asked to contact WSP Detective Jordan Rippee at (509) 227-6642.
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