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

Spirit Lake man, charged with murder, says victim told him he could draw knife faster than he could draw gun

The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office investigates a deadly shooting Friday near Spirit Lake.  (Courtesy of Bonner County Sheriff's Office)

A 64-year-old Spirit Lake man charged with second-degree murder told authorities he shot his friend in the head after the man told him he could pull a knife and stab him in the heart before the defendant could draw his gun and shoot him.

Michael L. Schofield called 911 around 4:45 p.m. Aug. 5 saying he killed his friend, 66-year-old Steven M. Moore, and that he needed paramedics and police to “take my (expletive) to jail,” according to court documents.

Documents said Bonner County Sheriff’s Office deputies detained Schofield in front of a home on the 3400 block of Spirit Lake Cutoff Road and found Moore dead in a chair in the yard. Moore appeared to have a single gunshot wound to the face.

Deputies located a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson pistol on a table in the yard and a spent .45 caliber shell casing near an empty chair across from the chair Moore was in, court records said.

Speaking to a deputy at the sheriff’s office, Schofield said Moore lived with him the past week and was supposed to move out that weekend and go to Maryland.

Schofield said he and Moore had been drinking alcohol that day. Breathalyzer samples showed Schofield’s blood alcohol content to be 0.18 and 0.19, documents said.

Schofield said Moore made multiple threats in the past to kill other people. He said Moore repeatedly told Schofield and others that Moore could pull a knife and stab them in the heart before they could draw their gun and shoot him.

On Aug. 5, Schofield said he and Moore were sitting across from each other drinking, including taking whiskey shots, at a table in the front yard of the home north of Spirit Lake. After Moore made the statement about pulling a knife faster than Schofield could draw his gun, Schofield said he drew his Smith and Wesson from a nylon holster on his right hip and shot him in the head once and said, “Boom, you’re dead.”

Schofield said he didn’t know whether Moore had a knife on him, and that Moore did not make any movements toward Schofield, according to documents.

Schofield remained in the Bonner County Jail Thursday.