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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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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.

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.

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.

Clark: Unmarked police car bill solves no one’s problems

I’ve long held the belief that if Olympia’s electricity came from brainpower the Statehouse would be in a perpetual gloom. Even so, I’m confident there’s still enough wisdom at the Capitol to snuff the knee-jerk legislation being proposed by two Spokane Valley lawmakers, Matt Shea and Larry Crouse.

Creaches want all cars marked

No one has lost more from the August shooting that killed a Spokane Valley pastor than Imogene Creach. The widow of 74-year-old Wayne Scott Creach stood among family members Wednesday as they implored Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich to prohibit the parking of unmarked patrol cars on private property.

Slain pastor’s sons push for new laws

The sons of slain pastor Wayne Scott Creach have taken their quest for justice to the state Legislature. Alan and Ernie Creach, and the Freedom Restoration Project, a gun rights activist group, submitted two bills last week they hope will curb unjustified police shootings and the illegal use of unmarked vehicles, in response to the Aug. 25 shooting death of 74-year-old Creach in Spokane Valley.

Clark: Tucker made right call in a sad case

So the verdict is finally in. Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker will NOT charge the sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed an elderly Spokane Valley pastor last August.

Creach case hinges on self-defense claim

In principle, it seems clear that a 74-year-old pastor on his own property should not die as a result of an encounter with law enforcement, as Wayne Scott Creach did in August. Since then, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich called the incident a “very unfortunate death,” and Creach’s family and the wider community have been asking for answers.