A man shot by a Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy in a confrontation on his property earlier this month told investigators that the deputy fired first.
Lloyd Vaughn, 41, was shot March 7 in Chattaroy. He has since been released from the hospital.
Earlier that day, just before noon, his wife, Heidi Vaughn, requested that a deputy conduct a prowl check and also reported a theft at 6521 E. Grouse Road in Chattaroy, according to court documents. The Vaughns had discovered a trailer they were planning to demolish had items stolen from it along with multiple larger items on the property, including a yard tractor and concrete mixer. The Vaughns suspected the thieves might return, according to court documents.
Later that day, Lloyd Vaughn went to the property to secure it and stay overnight to see if the intruder returned, according to court documents.
Deputy Craig Cupo arrived at the property at about 7 p.m. to do a prowler check. Ten minutes later Cupo reported shots had been fired, according to court documents.
Vaughn was shot in the shoulder but was conscious when Spokane Police officers responded to the scene.
Cupo told an investigating officer he had just arrived for the prowl check when Vaughn came out of the shop and pointed a gun in his face. The deputy then said he identified himself as a deputy multiple times but Vaughn told the officer to back off using an expletive.
That’s when Cupo said he fired at Vaughn.
Vaughn was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center where he underwent surgery.
After he was stable, Vaughn requested to speak with investigators, according to court documents.
He has been released from the hospital, and no charges have been filed.
Vaughn told police he had been at the property most of the day cleaning up and planned to stay overnight in the shop on a cot because of the theft problems at the property, according to court documents. He was armed with a five-shot revolver that was loaded with only four shots. He left the first chamber empty as an additional safety, according to court documents.
At some point, Vaughn said he heard an older model V8 truck turn on to Grouse Road. It sounded like it stopped in front of his property then turned around, according to court documents. Vaughn said he went outside to look but didn’t see anyone and the truck was gone.
He went back into his dark shop. The property does not have power, so Vaughn used a flashlight, according to court documents.
About 10 minutes later, Vaughn said he heard a newer sounding vehicle come down his driveway and approach the shop, according to court documents. Vaughn said he went to the door of the shop and quietly peeked out.
He told investigators he saw the headlights of a light gray or tan pickup – later determined to be Cupo’s sheriff’s vehicle – pointed in his direction, according to court documents. That’s when Vaughn said he saw a man approaching the southwest corner of the shop from the passenger side of the vehicle, shining a flashlight around his property.
Vaughn said he stepped back inside the shop because he didn’t like what he saw, according to court documents.
He confronted the then-unknown person, from the door shouting at him not to move and put their hands up, according to court records.
The deputy responded by shining a light in Vaughn’s eyes, according to court documents. Vaughn said the two had a flashlight “stare down.”
Then just a few seconds later Vaughn said he saw a flash and was hit in the left shoulder standing in the doorway of his shop, according to court documents.
He then fired all four rounds out his gun in response, according to court documents.
Investigators found Vaughn’s gun with the four spent shell casings as he described. However, his flashlight was found upright on a top shelf in the shop, something investigators suggested indicated a discrepancy in Vaughn’s version of events.
Investigators also found six empty .45 caliber casings in the area around the shop, likely from Cupo’s gun.
Vaughn told police he had smoked medical marijuana that afternoon on the recommendation of his doctor, according to court records. However, he said he had not smoked enough to be intoxicated. Police obtained a search warrant for Vaughn’s blood to run a toxicology screening. Vaughn also told police he has memory issues and eye issues due to a medical condition.
Cupo was placed on administrative leave – standard procedure after a shooting. Cupo came to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in 2019 from the Las Vegas Metro Police.
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