The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft of a mini excavator in Spokane Valley that resulted in a shooting that may have left one man wounded on Sunday morning, according to preliminary information.
No arrests have been made and the sheriff’s office is continuing to investigate.
The incident occurred around 7:30 a.m. in the morning on the 1300 block of North Bowdish Road. The victim realized somebody was attempting to steal his mini excavator, which was on a flatbed trailer, said Cpl. Mark Gregory, sheriff’s office spokesman. It appeared that two men pulled away a short distance with the mini excavator in tow before stopping to make sure it was secured to their vehicle, he said.
The victim followed the suspects in his own vehicle and then confronted them while armed, he said.
The victim’s wife called authorities to say that her husband was chasing the suspected thieves, the sheriff’s office said in a release. A few minutes later, callers reported hearing gunshots at the 1500 block of North Bowdish Road, the sheriff’s office said
The victim told authorities the suspect vehicle drove toward him and he fired at them, Gregory said. They continued to drive away with the victim following, he said.
At about 8 a.m., callers reported a truck pulling a trailer/excavator was being chased near East Wabash Avenue and North Martin Street.
The vehicle and the trailer with the excavator were discovered abandoned near Morton Street and North Avenue in the Nevada Heights neighborhood, Gregory said, about 12 miles away from the victim’s residence.
Spokane police assisted with establishing a perimeter around the area with the help of a K-9 unit and aerial drones, but the suspects were not located.
Blood was found in the abandoned vehicle, though it’s not clear if that was from a gunshot, Gregory said. Law enforcement also located a residence to which the suspects may have fled, but they weren’t there, he said.
They were described by the sheriff’s office as two white men in their 40s, one of whom was heavy set and limping from a potential gunshot wound to the leg.
Both suspects were not in custody on Monday evening, but they are not believed to be a threat to the community, Gregory said.
When located, the suspects could face several charges, including felony assault and theft, the sheriff’s office said.
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