The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office identified its two deputies who shot and killed 52-year-old Jeffery J. Smith in a SWAT standoff last week near Loon Lake in Stevens County.
Deputies Stephan Blaakman and Alexx Bullion were placed on administrative leave, per standard protocol.
Blaakman joined the sheriff’s office in 2018 and was assigned to the Spokane Valley precinct, according to a sheriff’s office news release. Blaakman is a field training officer, a SWAT team member, defensive tactics instructor, taser instructor, ballistic shield instructor and a certified Force Science analyst. He recently earned his associate degree in criminal justice.
Bullion began his law enforcement career with the sheriff’s office in 2016 and was also assigned to the Spokane Valley precinct, the release said. He was a SWAT Team member and an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course instructor. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps reserves and earned an associate degree in diesel mechanics.
The incident started the afternoon of Oct. 12 when a man reported Smith held him at gunpoint and fired a shot next to his head in the 42800 block of North Spotted Road near Clayton, according to court documents.
The man then fled to a home on the 4000 block of U.S. Highway 395 in the Loon Lake area. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team and a drone were called in to help locate Smith, who fled into the nearby woods.
As authorities set a perimeter, officers heard Smith fire multiple shots. It was unknown at whom or at what Smith was firing, documents said.
Officers made several announcements to Smith that he was under arrest and asked him to surrender, court records said. A Spokane County Sheriff’s Office news release said Smith threatened to shoot authorities at one point.
Documents said the SWAT team confronted Smith, at which point two SWAT team members shot him around 10:15 p.m. Smith died at the scene, according to documents.
The Spokane Independent Investigative Response Team is investigating the shooting. The team is composed of the Spokane Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Liberty Lake Police Department, Airway Heights Police Department, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and the Spokane Valley Police Department. However, the sheriff’s office and Spokane Valley police will not be involved in the investigation, according to the release.
The Stevens County Coroner’s Office will release the cause and manner of Smith’s death, the sheriff’s office said.
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