A 32-year-old woman is wanted for murder after police suspect she shot and killed 36-year-old Michael Materne over the Fourth of July weekend in northwest Spokane.
Materne and his ex-girlfriend, Stacy L. Gerber, were arguing July 3 in an alley behind Materne’s residence in the 5300 block of North Belt Street, according to search warrant documents filed July 7 in Spokane County Superior Court. The argument escalated into a physical fight over control of a black handgun. A round discharged from the firearm into the ceiling of a white 2015 GMC Yukon, in which Gerber arrived as a passenger, documents said.
One witness who was with Materne that day told police Materne appeared to be uninjured after the bullet fired and that Materne walked away from the vehicle toward his garage. The witness said after the GMC then pulled away from the back of the house, he heard more gunshots and saw Materne fall to the ground with an apparent gunshot wound.
Materne was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center where he was pronounced dead from a single gunshot wound, documents said. Police located a .45 caliber bullet in the alley.
The driver of the GMC told police Materne was standing in the detached garage of the Belt Street house and holding a shotgun or a rifle before he set it down and approached the GMC’s front passenger door where Gerber was. Gerber exited the vehicle, argued with Materne, got back into the car and fought with Materne over the pistol through the window of the car when a bullet fired, the driver said in the documents.
She said she then drove away and dropped Gerber off at Gerber’s Spokane Valley residence. Later, police pulled the driver over on Interstate 90 in Spokane Valley and questioned her about the shooting.
A child told police that about four hours before the shooting, she accompanied Materne, whom the child considered a family member, to Gerber’s Spokane Valley residence so Materne could retrieve some of his property. The child said Gerber was not home, but her children and some of her children’s friends were there. After gathering his property, Materne received a text message from Gerber while leaving Gerber’s house.
The child said Materne showed her the text message, which was a photo of a black handgun resting in Gerber’s lap. The gun included an extended magazine made of clear plastic with bullets loaded in the magazine. The description of the magazine matched the GMC driver’s description of the magazine involved in the shooting.
Materne and the child returned to the Belt Street house. From inside the home, the child said she heard a popping noise outside that she assumed were fireworks. Shortly after the noises, one of the other occupants of the home came running down the stairs saying, “Michael got shot.”
Spokane police Cpl. Nick Briggs, a spokesman for the agency, wrote in a text message that Gerber has an outstanding arrest warrant for second-degree murder. She had not been arrested as of Thursday, Briggs wrote. She did not appear on the county jail roster Friday.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on July 19, 2022, to correct Michael Materne’s age. An earlier version included an age that was incorrect in court documents.
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