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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Witness and relative question police killing of man in downtown Spokane; victims in two shootings identified

By Alexandra Duggan and Garrett Cabeza The Spokesman-Review

The man shot and killed by police Monday in downtown Spokane appeared to be holding a knife as he walked toward a man prior to the shooting, a video from a witness shows.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner on Wednesday also identified the man and another man shot and killed by police just 12 hours apart.

Erick Cid, 50, was killed by police early Monday morning when police attempted to rescue a woman who claimed she was shot at by an armed man inside her home. Police entered the house and exchanged gunfire with the suspect, Interim Police Chief Justin Lundgren said at the scene on the 1100 block of East Wellesley Avenue. His cause of death was listed as gunshot wounds, the medical examiner concluded. According to a news release from Spokane Police, the officers present during the shooting were Sgt. Jeremy McVay, 41, and officers Brandon Fabian, 42, and Ricky LaBelle, 36. McVay was hired in 2007, Fabian in 2013 and LaBelle in 2022.

Fabian and five other Spokane police officers were deemed justified in the shooting and killing of Shawn McCoy in 2021.

Just 12 hours after the Wellesley shooting, Spokane police responded to reports of a suicidal man threatening people downtown with a knife. Officers approached him near Riverside Avenue and Howard Street, where they deployed their stun guns three times to subdue him, Lundgren told reporters at the scene. Police then shot and killed the man, identified on Wednesday as 35-year-old Oscar Venegas.

Venegas’ sister, Munique Venegas, said Tuesday her brother had just gotten out of jail two months ago and was diagnosed with cancer. He died at 2 p.m. Monday after doctors rushed him into surgery, she said.

Toya Lee witnessed the shooting and shared a 2½-minute video of the events leading up to and after it.

The video shows Venegas in a black sweatshirt and baseball hat with what appeared to be a phone to his left ear and a knife in his right hand walking toward a man on a sidewalk. The man is walking backward, away from Venegas, asking him to drop the knife.

Four Spokane police officers run into view yelling for Venegas to get on the ground and drop his weapon. Venegas appears to drop the phone and knife as officers have what appeared to be stun guns drawn at the man.

Venegas remains standing as police ask him to get on the ground.

Lee’s video does not show the shooting. The video then shows Venegas lying motionless on the sidewalk after he had been shot. Officers are standing several feet away from Venegas, and the video ends.

Lee said police fired stun guns at Venegas, who had already dropped the knife, but he didn’t fall to the ground. Lee said he picked the knife up again and police shot him.

Lee said the shooting was sad, and that police should have used non-lethal methods to subdue him.

Venegas also said she wished there were better attempts to deescalate the situation.

“They didn’t use pepper spray or a K9,” she said. “He was suicidal.”