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

Man suspected of crashing stolen car into truck last week now suspected in February shooting

Deputies have found a suspect who they believe shot a Black Angus customer in the restaurant's parking lot in February before stealing the customer's car, according to a Spokane County Sheriff's Office news release.  (Google Maps)

Deputies have identified a suspect in a February shooting that left a man seriously injured – and the suspect was already in jail, according to a news release from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Last Saturday, deputies arrested 31-year-old Jason D. McWhirk after the allegedly stolen car he was driving collided with a box truck in Spokane Valley, sending the suspect and his 16-year-old passenger to the hospital with serious injuries, according to another news release from May 8.

McWhirk, a wanted felon, has been in Spokane County Jail since on a $50,000 bond for suspected vehicular assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and possessing a stolen a vehicle, according to the jail’s inmate roster.

On Feb. 27, a man in the parking lot of Black Angus Steakhouse in Spokane Valley was shot as a man stole his car, according to the new release.

Deputies followed the stolen car but lost sight of it because of the suspect’s “extremely reckless driving behavior,” the release said.

Five days later, deputies found the stolen car in the parking lot of a business in the 24700 block of East Wellesley Avenue in Otis Orchards. Detectives seized the vehicle, got a search warrant and searched the car, taking DNA samples, according to the release.

Tuesday, the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab found the DNA matched McWhirk, the release said.

Major Crimes Detective Mike Drapeau took this information and found McWhirk had been convicted of five prior felonies and was in custody at the Spokane County Jail in connection to the May 7 crash. McWhirk also had an outstanding Idaho felony warrant for violating probation, the release said.

Drapeau checked the ammunition in the pistol seized after the May crash and learned it was the same brand of ammunition used to shoot the victim in February, the release said.

Drapeau is recommending the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office charge McWhirk with first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, another count of unlawful possession of a firearm and attempting to elude a police vehicle in connection to the February shooting, the release said.