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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Man shot by deputies near Deer Park had standoff with Spokane Valley deputies in 2019; alleged child sex crime spurred both incidents

Several law enforcement vehicles were parked outside Deer Park City Hall Friday, April 5, 2024, after a deputy-involved shooting that left a man dead at a residence outside the city.  (Garrett Cabeza/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

The man who was shot and killed by Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputies after a standoff Friday night near Deer Park was arrested five years ago after another standoff with law enforcement.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office said Donald Hegel, 43, died in last week’s standoff in the 30300 block of North Monroe Road southwest of Deer Park. His cause and manner of death are pending.

Hegel was wanted on Stevens County child rape and molestation charges in both standoffs.

The Stevens County Sheriff’s Office did not return a phone call Wednesday indicating whether the charges in each standoff were from the same case. Spokane County Sheriff John Nowels told reporters Friday the alleged child rape incident happened about 5½ years ago, which would have been shortly before the Spokane Valley standoff.

Multiple Spokane County Sheriff’s Office specialty units responded at about 2:30 p.m. Friday to the Deer Park location to assist the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office with arresting Hegel, who failed to show up to court earlier in the week on the sexual assault charges, according to a Spokane Independent Investigative Response Team news release Wednesday.

Hegel was uncooperative and refused to show his hands, making comments asking officers to shoot him, the release said.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team members and crisis negotiators responded to the home to assist Stevens County.

Deputies helped two female occupants exit the residence, and crisis negotiators established phone contact with Hegel. Negotiators spent several hours talking with the suspect trying to get him to surrender, investigators said.

Hegel went “back and forth on his level of cooperation” and at times would exit the home, but would not respond to deputies when asked if he was armed. He repeatedly retreated back into the residence when pressed by deputies to cooperate, according to the release.

Hegel continued to briefly leave the home and, at one point, was standing on the hood of a vehicle near the residence, investigators said. Deputies again asked him to lift up his jacket to ensure he was not armed, but he would not comply. The suspect eventually walked out near a gate by the residence, and deputies tried to arrest him, but he fled back into his home.

Communication commenced again with Hegel, but he refused to surrender even after receiving a recorded message from his girlfriend.

After several hours of communication and attempting to deescalate the situation, deputies deployed chemical munitions into the residence to force him to come out, but he did not.

They eventually forced open the home’s front door and breached a bedroom window near where it was believed Hegel was hiding.

“Upon forcing the window open, deputies contacted the suspect and responded to an immediate threat that resulted in the use of lethal force,” the release said.

Hegel died at the scene.

Three deputies fired their weapons and were placed on administrative leave, per standard officer shooting protocol, Nowels said. The sheriff’s office has yet to release the names of the deputies.

In April 2019, Hegel was arrested after an hours-long standoff at a Spokane Valley home where Hegel refused to leave the house and threatened to shoot, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office at the time.

Law enforcement used stun grenades, a robot, “less-lethal impact munitions” and a K-9, the latter of which Hegel fought, during the standoff.

A second K-9 also was sent in, and the SWAT team eventually arrested him.

Last week’s shooting is under investigation.

The case will be forwarded to the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office for review after the investigation is complete.