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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Man accused in fatal Airway Heights shooting fired in self-defense, attorney claims

Devine Bullard, far right, sits next to his attorney, Jeff Leslie, Tuesday during his first Spokane County Superior Court appearance for assault charges stemming from the fatal shooting of 28-year-old Wyatt Walker Sunday in Airway Heights.   (Garrett Cabeza / The Spokesman-Review)

A man facing multiple assault charges in the fatal shooting Sunday of 28-year-old Wyatt Walker in Airway Heights fired in self-defense and shouldn’t be in jail, according to his attorney.

Devine Bullard, 30, was arrested on suspicion of five counts of first-degree assault. Spokane County Superior Court Commissioner Eugene Cruz found probable cause for only three of the counts and amended another assault charge to second-degree assault during Bullard’s first court appearance Tuesday.

Witnesses told police Bullard waved a gun at children Sunday at Shorty Combs Park in Airway Heights, which led to a group of people showing up in two cars to confront him at his Sands Mobile Home Park residence, 1701 S. Lawson St., according to court documents.

Walker drove two people to the residence in his Chevrolet Trailblazer, one victim told police.

Bullard and another man came out of the residence after the group knocked on the door. Bullard and the group got into an argument, and Bullard reached for his handgun in his waistband, witnesses told police.

One of the men told police he was scared for his life, so he pepper-sprayed Bullard . He said he then ran and heard three gunshots.

He got into the passenger side of the Chevy and yelled for Walker to, “Go.”

The victim told police he hit Walker’s right shoulder, but Walker didn’t move. He said he looked into Walker’s eyes and knew something was wrong.

He heard another round of gunshots and saw Bullard firing six or seven shots in their direction.

Another victim told police he also heard three initial gunshots and heard a bullet go by his head. He said Bullard came off the porch and fired at least five to six more shots at him.

Police found Walker in the driver’s seat of the vehicle and removed Walker to render first aid. He died at the scene.

Bullard told police he put his hand on his gun during the confrontation and one of the people in the group pepper-sprayed him. Bullard said he fell backward and was punched and kicked by the men, so he drew his gun and fired, according to documents.

Spokane County Public Defender Jeff Leslie, who represented Bullard Tuesday, called the six to eight people who confronted Bullard instead of contacting law enforcement “vigilantes.” He said children were inside his client’s house at the time of the shooting, and Bullard only responded after he was sprayed with mace.

The attorney asked that Bullard, who has no felonies and multiple jobs, be released on his own recognizance or given a substantially lower bond than the $50,000 the prosecution recommended.

Cruz ultimately set his bond at $25,000. Bullard was not listed in Spokane County Jail Wednesday.

Bullard’s loved ones told the court Tuesday that Bullard is nonviolent.

“He’s a good person,” Bullard’s cousin said. “He shouldn’t be in jail.”

Bullard’s grandmother, who raised Bullard, said Bullard is a sweet man who was provoked that night.

Bullard’s girlfriend said she and Bullard, who made his court appearance via Zoom in yellow Spokane County Jail clothing, are sad that Walker died, but that Bullard protected his family when several men came to their porch.

The girlfriend’s two daughters also said Bullard protected them that night. One of them said she was scared the group was going to come into the house and harm them.

Bullard is set for an arraignment Feb. 21.

The investigation is ongoing, and additional charges and arrests are possible, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.