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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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County grants Knezovich request to allow unmarked patrol cars

At the request of the sheriff, Spokane County commissioners last week passed an ordinance authorizing the use of unmarked patrol cars, amid statewide controversy about the practice. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said the county ordinance reiterates what state law already says, that the department has the authority to operate vehicles without official markings. The county ordinance limits use of unmarked cars to undercover detectives and deputies, high-ranking members of the office and deputies performing traffic control.

Spokane Deputy Brian Hirzel fired for misusing patrol car

A Spokane County sheriff’s deputy cleared of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a Spokane Valley pastor in 2010 has been fired for improperly using county-owned vehicles. Brian Hirzel, of Hayden, was driving his patrol car to and from his home without permission, said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.

Deputies named in Jedadiah Zillmer shooting

The majority of the six Spokane County sheriff’s deputies who fired their guns at a despondent and armed Afghanistan war veteran following a highway chase have been investigated in other cases for using violent force. Jedadiah Zillmer, 23, died of multiple gunshot wounds – the fifth person killed by law enforcement officers in Spokane County since January 2013.The sheriff’s office Tuesday named the deputies who shot at Zillmer, who called 911 dispatchers and said he wanted to die in a police shootout, according to court records. He wore a bulletproof vest and was armed with three guns when he was shot and killed.

County OKs settlement in Creach death

Spokane County commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve a $2 million settlement with the family of Wayne Scott Creach, a Spokane Valley nursery owner and pastor shot to death in 2010 in a confrontation with a sheriff’s deputy. Commissioners Todd Mielke and Shelly O’Quinn approved the settlement without comment.

County settles Creach case

The family of a Spokane Valley pastor shot to death after a confrontation with a deputy sheriff in 2010 will receive $2 million. The settlement was reached Friday after U.S. District Judge Rosanna Peterson dismissed Spokane County and Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich from the family’s civil lawsuit. That left as the lone defendant in the case Deputy Brian Hirzel, who shot the Rev. Wayne Scott Creach in the parking lot of the pastor’s nursery and greenhouse business on Aug. 25, 2010. Although the county had been dismissed from the federal lawsuit, it still was providing Hirzel’s legal defense.

Police won’t say if suspect was armed

Law enforcement officials are refusing to say whether a man killed by deputies Wednesday was armed when he was gunned down in his girlfriend’s backyard in Spokane Valley, though the man’s best friend claims that he was not. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich also would not identify the deputies until they give full interviews today to Spokane Police Department detectives. He said the two-day delay has nothing to do with his elimination in 2010 of a policy that called for a 72-hour wait before deputies were questioned.

Creach family files civil rights lawsuit

The family of a Spokane Valley pastor killed last year by a sheriff’s deputy has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. The lawsuit filed Friday by the family of Pastor Wayne Scott Creach contends that he was deprived of his civil rights when he was fatally shot by Deputy Brian Hirzel late on Aug. 25, 2010. In addition to Hirzel, the suit names Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and Spokane County as defendants, alleging that Hirzel was improperly trained and that county officials ignored evidence in backing his account of the shooting.

Creach family seeks millions

The family of slain Spokane Valley pastor Wayne Scott Creach has filed a $14.7 million wrongful death claim against Spokane County, which is the first step in filing a civil lawsuit. “A jury may come in and feel highly aggravated at what happened,” said the pastor’s son, Alan Creach. “They may award a very large sum.”

Creach family files $15 million claim against county

The family of slain Spokane Valley pastor Wayne Scott Creach has filed a $14.7 million wrongful death claim against Spokane County, which is a necessary prelude to filing a civil lawsuit.

Jamie Neely: Pastor Creach tale a painful lesson

There’s something of a John Ford western in the tale of Wayne Scott Creach and the August night he ventured out of his house shirtless and carrying a gun. It sounds like a story of craggy Western individualism. The notion of a property owner taking the law into his own hands has become strangely appealing in these times of reactionary politics and heightened suspicion of public institutions. The brash romanticism of this idea conveys a rugged energy right out of “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”

Deputy cleared in Creach shooting

The Spokane County sheriff’s deputy who shot a 74-year-old Spokane Valley pastor last year will face no disciplinary action over the fatal encounter. Deputy Brian Hirzel followed all departmental policies and procedures during the Aug. 25 encounter with Wayne Scott Creach, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Wednesday in announcing the results of his internal investigation. He met with members of the Creach family earlier in the day to advise them of the findings.

No disciplinary action for deputy who shot pastor

The deputy who shot 74-year-old Wayne Scott Creach will face no disciplinary action after being cleared in an internal investigation examining his compliance with departmental policy and procedures during the encounter that killed the pastor in Spokane Valley last summer.