Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 72° Clear

Primary Election: See the complete results

News >  Crime/Public Safety

No criminal charges for 6 SPD officers involved in fatal January shooting of Shawn McCoy

Aug. 6, 2021 Updated Fri., Aug. 6, 2021 at 5:28 p.m.

The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office determined that Spokane police officers were justified in their use of deadly force in the shooting of Shawn McCoy in January and will not file criminal charges .

McCoy, who was 36 when he was killed by police, was the primary suspect in the killing of Joseph Buskirk in December. McCoy was suspected of shooting Buskirk in the chest after Buskirk killed one of McCoy’s close friends in 2013, according to investigation records.

Police learned in an investigation that McCoy was arming for a shootout with officers, according to a news release from the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office.

Officers tracked McCoy with a GPS that was planted on his car and eventually identified McCoy as he was driving his car around north Spokane.

Police attempted a traffic stop, and then “boxed” McCoy’s vehicle with undercover and marked vehicles , according to the news release.

McCoy attempted to drive out of the vehicle-boxing maneuver by striking an undercover vehicle, but officers were able to force his vehicle to come to a stop near a chain-link fence off the side of the road.

Police ordered McCoy to show his hands, but he did not comply, investigators said. McCoy stepped out his vehicle and fired his handgun at police, according to the news release.

Officers returned fire and struck McCoy. Officers attempted life-saving measures once McCoy was down, but McCoy was declared dead later by medical personnel.

The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office determined that Spokane Police Sgt. Brent Austin, Cpl. Anthony Guzzo, and officers Kyle Heuett, Brandon Lynch, Brandon Fabian and Winston Brooks were justified in their use of deadly force, and no criminal charges will be filed.

The prosecutor’s office under Larry Haskell has not filed charges against an officer in any of the 28 shootings involving officers from January 2015 to May 2021.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.