From staff reports
The Spokane County sheriff’s deputies who fired their guns and killed an armed man Tuesday to end an hourslong standoff have been identified.
Matthew R. Teears, 31, was killed after a 12-hour standoff at his residence, 18608 E. Lindsey Lane, according to court documents. A neighbor called 911 just after 11 p.m. Monday to report gunfire at Teears’ residence that had struck the neighbor’s home.
The sheriff’s office on Friday released the names of the three deputies who fired their guns. They are as follows:
- Deputy Davis French, who was hired by the sheriff’s office in 2020, is a member of the SWAT Team.
- Deputy Ryan Nelson-Felvarg, who was hired by the sheriff’s office in 2017, is a school resource deputy and a member of the SWAT team.
- Deputy Thomas Walton, who was hired by the sheriff’s office in 2017 and is a school resource deputy and a member of the SWAT team.
After deputies arrived at the home, Teears barricaded himself inside and continued to fire shots in a “reckless” manner from the home, according to the search warrant document. Deputies were unable to make contact with Teears during what the sheriff’s office described as a mental health crisis.
One sheriff’s detective observed Teears carrying large objects from room to room throughout the residence, but could not identify what they were. Teears was said to be armed with a handgun, the sheriff’s office said.
At 9:20 a.m., the standoff began to escalate as Teears shot and disabled one of the aerial drones deployed by deputies, the sheriff’s office said. At around 10:30 a.m., Teears was seen wearing a gas mask and holding a gun in his hand after a SWAT team deployed chemical irritants into the home, the sheriff’s office said. A second aerial drone was shot and disabled at 10:40 a.m. A fire was visible on the second floor of the home at about 10:50 a.m. The man attempted to extinguish the fire while also firing multiple shots just before 11 a.m.
Teears entered the garage and got into a 2015 Subaru Forester as the garage was filling with smoke, the search warrant document said. Authorities were planning to block Teears’ exit when he instead ran to the backyard. He was then shot and killed by SWAT team members. He had a gun at his side when he left the residence, the search warrant document said.
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