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

Jury finds North Idaho man guilty of shooting two people at Post Falls coffee shop

Tisen W. Sterkel, 32, shown here in surveillance camera footage, has been found guilty of shooting two people on Dec. 1 at a Post Falls gas station as part of crime spree.  (Via Kootenai County District Court Documents)

A jury on Friday found a 32-year-old Priest River, Idaho, man guilty of several felonies related to the December shooting of two men at a Post Falls coffee shop.

Post Falls police received multiple 911 calls shortly after 1:30 p.m. Dec. 1 reporting a shooter, later identified as Tisen W. Sterkel, in the parking lot of a gas station at the intersection of State Highway 41 and Poleline Avenue, according to court documents. The parking lot includes Kokopelli Coffee.

Sterkel shot Jacob Sheppard in the neck and Jason Griffin in the right leg. Both men were taken to Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene.

Sheppard was in stable condition at the time, according to a Facebook post by the coffee shop. Griffin was treated and released, the hospital said.

Witnesses told police Sterkel fled the scene in a gold Ford F-150.

Surveillance cameras from the gas station showed Sterkel firing at least twice at Sheppard before returning to his truck and shooting two more rounds, one that hit a witness’ tire and one that hit Griffin, documents said.

Sterkel then eluded police in stolen vehicle before a SWAT team pinned the truck Sterkel was driving and arrested him.

Sterkel said he hoped the people he shot were OK, according to deputies.

After a five-day trial this week, Sterkel was found guilty of two counts of aggravated battery with the use of a deadly weapon enhancement, aggravated assault with the use of a deadly weapon enhancement, two counts of possession of a stolen vehicle and operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent. He was found not guilty of burglary, according to a Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office news release.

Prior to trial, Sterkel pleaded guilty to eluding, possession of methamphetamine, unlawful entry and attempted unlawful entry, the release said. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 16.