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

Spokane Valley deputy found justified in November fatal shooting

UPDATED: Thu., July 22, 2021

The Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney has decided not to file criminal charges against a Spokane Valley police officer who fatally shot Nicholas Kausshen last November following a high-speed chase involving multiple patrol officers.

According to a news release from the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office, Spokane Valley police Deputy Thomas Walton fired his weapon at Kausshen’s moving vehicle after it crashed into a police patrol car.

The incident began at around 6 p.m. Nov. 22 when Deputy Jason Hunt saw a Chevy Trailblazer fail to stop at a stop sign. The driver, Kausshen, was also speeding, the release said.

Hunt turned on the lights of his fully marked patrol car to pull the driver over, though Kausshen did not stop, the release said. Hunt pursued the vehicle as it traveled around the Mullan Road, Mission Avenue and North University Road areas.

According to police, Kausshen crashed into two parked vehicles, ran several stop signs and was pursued into the Firestone lot at 10717 E. Sprague Ave. Other patrol cars had joined the effort to stop Kausshen, one of which included Walton and Spokane County Deputy Sheriff Chris Kyle.

Walton, in the passenger seat, was in a car facing Kausshen before the suspect rammed the Trailblazer into Walton’s vehicle, the release said.

Walton got out and attempted to de-escalate, according to the release. Kyle stayed inside the patrol car.

Kausshen revved his engine and accelerated again, the release said. Walton drew his weapon and yelled, “Stop,” before firing several shots at Kausshen’s vehicle.

Kausshen continued and rammed his car into the patrol car again, according to the release. Kausshen received medical attention but died at the scene.

The prosecutor found Walton justified in his fear for his and Kyle’s life, the release said, and therefore the office decided not to file criminal charges.

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