Friday, June 9, 2023
Home Blog

Fire Victim Rescued in Apartment Fire

May 23, 2023 – The Spokane Fire Department (SFD) swiftly responded to a fire incident at an apartment building in the 500 block of W Sprague Ave this evening. At approximately 5:45 PM, neighbors reported smoke in the hallway on the 8th floor, accompanied by the activation of fire alarms.

Upon arrival, the first responding fire crews immediately initiated operations on the 8th floor, where they discovered a lone occupant unconscious in the hallway. The dedicated efforts of the firefighters resulted in the successful rescue of the victim, who was promptly treated and revived at the scene. The individual was transported to a local hospital by AMR for further medical attention.

Simultaneously, SFD personnel extinguished a small kitchen fire within the occupant’s apartment. Thankfully, no other injuries were reported among the building’s occupants or the responding firefighters. All other residents have been able to return to their apartments.

The Spokane Fire Department’s Special Investigation Unit has initiated an investigation into the fire’s circumstances. The unit will diligently examine all pertinent factors to determine the cause and any contributing factors involved.

Chief Brian Schaeffer of the Spokane Fire Department expressed his gratitude for the quick response and exceptional efforts of the SFD personnel, whose professionalism and skill played a vital role in the successful rescue and containment of the fire.

The SFD also emphasizes the importance of working smoke alarms and urges residents to regularly test and maintain their smoke detectors to ensure early detection of fires and the safety of all occupants. If evacuating, it is important to close the door behind you to prevent fire and smoke spread.

Caught in the Act: Detectives Connect and Arrest Theft Suspect Involved in Vehicle Prowlings/Thefts – Identify 200 Potential Additional Victims

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Unit (SCIU) Detectives, working with RIG-9 Crime Analysts, developed information and identified several possible suspects involved in multiple vehicle prowlings/thefts.  With this information and surveillance, SCIU Detectives located one of the suspects actively prowling a vehicle at a local trailhead.  Detectives continued to surveil the suspect, and once additional Detectives/Deputies arrived to assist, the suspect was taken into custody after a short foot chase.  He was booked into jail a several felony and misdemeanor charges.  However, two days later, he posted bond and was released. 

Over the last few weeks, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Unit (SCIU) Detectives identified several people suspected of committing multiple vehicle prowlings/thefts in our community.  One of those suspects was identified as 26-year-old Ty A. Holland.

Through surveillance work and other information gleaned working with the aid of RIG-9 Crime Analysts, Holland, a multi-time convicted felon with a history of vehicle prowling/theft, was located on the morning of May 17, 2023, inside a victim’s car, actively stealing items while it was parked in a local trailhead parking.   

A plan to capture Holland, who has been armed, resistive, and assaultive in the past, was devised as they kept Holland in sight.  With additional Detectives, Deputies, and a K9 Unit to assist, Holland was contacted near Walmart in Airway Heights, and after a short foot chase, he was taken into custody.

At approximately 12:30 pm, Holland was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for felonies charges of Theft 2nd Degree, Vehicle Prowling 2nd Degree (2 counts), Trafficking Stolen Property 1st Degree, Identity Theft 2nd Degree (2 counts), Theft 2nd Degree (3 counts) and a misdemeanor charge of Malicious Mischief 3rd Degree.    

Holland’s total case bond was set at $12,500 by Spokane County Superior Court Commissioner J. Stine.  Holland posted bond on the night of May 19, 2023.

SCIU Detectives seized the vehicle Holland was driving, and they learned of a storage unit used by Holland.  Later, both were searched once a valid search warrant was obtained.

Based on the recovered evidence, SCIU Detectives have identified and documented over 200 potential victims.  This remains an active investigation, and additional arrested and charges are expected. 

Corporal Mark Gregory

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office

Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer

Deputies Locate Occupied Vehicle Reported Stolen out of Wisconsin

Spokane Valley Deputies responding to a suspicious vehicle call, found a male asleep in the driver’s seat.  A check of the Wisconsin license plate showed the truck had been reported stolen from Soldier’s Grove, Wisconsin.  The vehicle was blocked in to prevent escape, and the driver was contacted and detained.  Following a short investigation and review of the original Wisconsin stolen report, the male suspect was arrested for Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle and booked into jail. 

On May 23, 2023, at approximately 1:20 am, Spokane Valley Deputies responded to the report of a suspicious vehicle parked in the 18800 block of E. Broadway.  The caller stated the truck had been parked there for two hours, which was unusual.

Deputies arrived and observed a male, later identified as 38-year-old Luke A. Russell, asleep in the driver’s seat.  A check of the Wisconsin license plate showed the vehicle was reported stolen in Crawford County, Wisconsin.

Deputies blocked the vehicle to limit any chance of escape and placed stop sticks under the tire if Russell attempted to drive away. 

Russell was cooperative and safely taken into custody.  He was advised of his rights and agreed to answer questions.  He explained the truck wasn’t stolen, and he borrowed it from a longtime friend and intended to buy it once he got a job.  Russell admitted he had not been in contact with the victim in a couple of days and could not show any paperwork of a possible purchase or that he had permission to have the vehicle. 

Reading a copy of the report provided by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, the victim stated Russell arrived at the victim’s home a couple of weeks ago and needed a place to stay.  The victim agreed but declined Russell’s requests to use the truck several times.  However, when the victim went out of town for a couple of days, he granted Russell limited use of the vehicle if needed.  When the victim returned home, he found his truck, Russell, and all of Russell’s belonging gone.  The victim said he never permitted Russell to take the vehicle overnight and waited to report the truck as stolen until the next day when it and Russell still hadn’t returned.

A Deputy noted Russell had traveled over 1520 miles from the victim’s home and was traveling to California by Russell’s own admission.  

Russell was advised he was under arrest and was booked into the Spokane County Jail for Possession of a stolen motor vehicle.        

Corporal Mark Gregory

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office

Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer

Male with 5 Prior Convictions for Indecent Exposure Arrested for Indecent Exposure After Exposing Himself to Dozens of Juveniles

On May 22, 2023 at approximately 3:00pm, Spokane police officers responded to a park in West Central Spokane. Multiple 911 callers advised a male, later identified as 45-year-old Charles Simpson, was openly masturbating in the park as a school bus was letting kids off.

Through their investigation, officers determined the incident began when Charles approached a 17-year-old female who was walking with two young children in the park. He exposed his genitals and began following the female around the park making vulgar comments. A short time later, a school bus arrived to drop off approximately 30 students. Charles sat down on a bench nearby and began masturbating as children walked past.

Officers developed probable cause to arrest Charles for felony Indecent Exposure and Stalking with Sexual Motivation. Additional charges may be pending. Indecent Exposure is typically a misdemeanor which becomes a gross misdemeanor if the victims are under 14 years of age and a felony if the suspect has two prior convictions.

Charles has 3 felony and 2 misdemeanor convictions for Indecent Exposure. He has 8 total felony convictions. He currently has 2 additional cases for felony Indecent Exposure which are pending in the court system from 2022.

SPD believes there may be additional victims and witnesses to this incident. If you are one of those, we ask that you call Crime Check (509-456-2233) and reference SPD Case #2023-20098199.

Officer X.A. Berkeley #1426

Spokane Police Department

Man Saved from RV Fire in Camp Hope

At 6:54 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023, SREC Dispatch received a report of an RV on fire in Camp Hope from campers and staff. The closest Spokane Fire Department company responded and arrived within two minutes of dispatch, reporting smoke showing from a medium-sized RV in the southwest corner of the camp. Firefighters were forced to cut fencing manually to gain access to the fire, and an additional ladder company was added to assist in firefighting efforts.

The RV was searched, and the fire was extinguished in 8 minutes despite the heavy clutter and obstacles. During the investigation, it was determined that the occupant of the RV was asleep when the fire started. An observant security guard noticed the heavy smoke from the trailer and was able to open the door to rescue the adult male occupant. Both the occupant and the security guard reported seeing heavy fire above the occupant’s head that was rolling toward the rear of the trailer when they crawled out. The occupant only had seconds before a flashover of the space occurred–and most likely, both would have been killed.  

The fire was caused by an overloaded circuit being powered by a small generator. The electrical circuit had no protection to prevent a fire and was severely overloaded with appliances, chargers, and a window air conditioning unit. The damage to the RV and its contents resulted in a complete loss. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters due to this incident. The Red Cross was contacted to assist the occupants. 

Fast Moving Fire in East Central 

At 5:44 AM on Saturday, May 20th, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) responded to a structure fire at the intersection of East Boone Avenue and North Smith Street in the East Central neighborhood. Firefighters arrived at the scene within 4 minutes of receiving the dispatch, only to encounter a heavily engulfed RV fire that spread to an adjacent detached garage. The incident was further complicated by evident hoarder conditions surrounding the RV and within the garage.

Firefighters initiated an aggressive fire attack strategy while simultaneously conducting a thorough search of the RV for potential fire victims. However, battling the fire proved highly challenging due to the hazardous hoarder conditions that impeded their progress.

Fortunately, upon investigation, it was revealed that three individuals had been residing inside the RV and had narrowly escaped the engulfing flames. One adult male sustained a minor injury while fleeing the fire and was promptly treated by SFD Paramedics before being transported by AMR to a nearby hospital for further care. Nevertheless, the fire significantly damaged a substantial portion of the garage. Due to the dangers of the remaining structure, the Fire Marshal determined the risk to the public was too great and allowed it to be demolished later this morning.

The presence of hoarder conditions significantly exacerbates the dangers faced by firefighters. Restricted mobility, limited escape routes, high fuel loads, and accelerated fire growth are just a few of the hazards encountered in such situations. No other injuries occurred as a result of this incident. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by a team of SPD and SFD officers.

The Spokane Fire Department urges residents to maintain a safe living environment, free from clutter and excess materials, to minimize fire risks and enhance overall safety. For more information on fire prevention and safety measures, please visit or contact SFD Fire Prevention at 509-625-7000.

Suspect Kaylee Zornes, Arrested and Booked into Jail

Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies responding to a tip located 35-year-old Kaylee R. Zornes inside her residence in the 12800 block of N. Jaydee Lane.  She ran out of the back door and toward the street as she ignored commands to stop, tripped, and fell to the ground.  Deputies quickly took her into custody without further incident.

On May 18, 2023, at approximately 8:50 pm, Deputies were advised that Zornes was at her residence on Jaydee Lane and that she had a confirmed felony warrant for possession of stolen property. 

Arriving Deputies observed Zornes inside the home and took positions around the house to ensure she didn’t run out the back.  Shortly after knocking on the door, a Deputy in the back advised Zornes was peeking out of a back window just before bolting on foot out the back door.  With the Deputy yelling command to stop, Zornes rounded the corner of the house, heading for the street, but tripped and fell to the ground, where Deputies quickly took her into custody.

Zornes purse, which she dropped during the fall, was searched, and Deputies located debit and ID cards that were not in her name, along with drug paraphernalia and three small pills believed to contain Fentanyl.  A check of one of the names on a card showed he had reported his wallet stolen in Spokane.  The victim was contacted, and he advised Deputies he did not know Zornes and hadn’t opened an account for the card in question but believed Zornes could do so with his identification that was in his wallet when it was stolen.

Deputies could not contact the owners of the other cards to confirm if they had been stolen.  The cards, pills, and drug paraphernalia were seized and booked into evidence.    

Zornes was provided medical attention due to her fall and was cleared for jail. 

She was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail on her warrant for Possession of Stolen Property 2dn Degree and Identity Theft 2nd Degree and her previous charges of Possession of a Stolen Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 1st Degree, Unlawful Carry Firearm, and Theft 3rd Degree stemming from her arrest on May 13, 2023, following a standoff.  She was also charged with new charges of Possession of Stolen Property 2nd Degree and obstructing.

Release sent on May 13, 2023:      

Armed Barricaded and Uncooperative Suspects Arrested Following Lengthy Standoff

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team took two adult suspects into custody following a several-hour standoff at a residence in the 12800 block of N. Jaydee Lane. The incident stemmed from a theft investigation where Deputies identified a suspect, a convicted felon prohibited from legally possessing a firearm, and learned she was at the noted residence. A search warrant was obtained, but the individuals in the home were defiant and would not surrender despite multiple announcements. A stolen firearm was recovered from the suspect’s vehicle.

This morning, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputies investigating a theft call identified a suspect as 35-year-old Kaylee R. Zornes, a convicted felon prohibited from legally possessing a firearm, and learned she was at a residence in the 12800 block of N. Jaydee Lane. They responded to the home and attempted to contact the people inside, who were not cooperative. They noticed a handgun in a vehicle registered to Zornes and obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and premises.

Due to the uncooperative nature and the unknown number of people inside the house, the discovery of a firearm in the suspect’s vehicle, a convicted felon, and the possibility of additional firearms inside the home, the SWAT Team’s assistance was requested.

SWAT, Crisis Negotiators, Rescue Taskforce (SCFD 9), Spokane Reginal Air Support Unit personnel, K9 Teams, and other assets arrived to assist Deputies at the scene.

During the five-plus hour standoff a male, later identified as 37-year-old Jack W. Crowther, called in a report of an active shooter at Fred Meyer. The call was quickly determined to be a false and an apparent ruse to try and lure Deputies away, as the phone call was identified as being placed from inside the home.

Eventually, Zornes and Crowther were safely taken into custody. The handgun was recovered from the car, and a serial number check showed it was reported stolen.

Zornes and Crowther were transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail.

Zornes was charged with Possession of a Stolen Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 1st Degree, Unlawful Carry Firearm, and Theft 3rd Degree.

Crowther was charged with False Reporting and Obstructing.

Update: Zornes was released on her own recognizance on May 14, 2023, by Spokane County Superior Court Judge J. High-Edward

Crowther was in custody with his bond set at $2,000 but was released from jail on May 19, 2023, after posting bond.

Corporal Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer

Suspect of a Domestic Violence Order of Protection Violation Refused to Exit Residence and Cooperative with Deputies Safely Arrested

Spokane Valley Deputies responded to a report of a male suspect violating a Domestic Violence Order of Protection (DVOPV) at a residence in the 1400 block of N. Farr Road in Spokane Valley.  He was uncooperative and would not exit the home to speak with Deputies.  With the information he had been armed in the past and uncooperative, coupled with today’s initial response, where he attempted to flee or surrender, SWAT and Crisis Negotiators were called to the scene to assist.  After approximately two hours, the suspect peacefully surrendered.

On May 19, 2023, at approximately 10:45 pm, Spokane Valley Deputies responded to a domestic violence call in the 1400 block of N. Farr Road.  The caller reported that her boyfriend, later identified as 25-year-old Jacob J. Hailey, was inside the home and had her keys, making it so she couldn’t leave the location.  She also explained there were children inside, and she couldn’t get them and their belongings.

When Deputies arrived, they safely removed the one child still inside the home, but Hailey refused to come out.  At one point, Hailey exited and briefly went on the roof before returning inside. 

Deputies surrounded the location and began to give announcements for Hailey to surrender.  Information was obtained that Hailey was possibly armed and had a recent history of being uncooperative and resisting arrest.           

With this information and Hailey’s continued refusal to exit the home, SWAT, Crisis Negotiators, K9 Unit, AUS, EDU, and other assets responded to the scene, and a search warrant was sought.

Crisis Negotiators contacted Hailey and eventually coaxed him into complying at approximately 12:30 pm, and Hailey was safely taken into custody. 

Hailey was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Violating a Protection Order, three counts. 

There were no injuries reported during this incident. 

Corporal Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer

No Criminal Charges in December 4, 2022 Shooting


SPOKANE COUNTY, May 19, 2023 – The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office has determined that Spokane Police (SPD) Officer Garth Craigen was justified in the use of deadly force while attempting to contact Brandon Dozier, who had brandished what appeared to be a firearm after police had arrived in response to a 9-1-1 call for help.

At about 12:28 PM on December 4, 2022, SPD units responded to a 9-1-1 call for help. The caller had initially reported a suspicious vehicle (a black Chevy Tahoe) parked in the alley between Illinois Ave. and Montgomery Ave. near 1203 E. Illinois, in Spokane, Washington. The same caller contacted 9-1-1 again when a female occupant of the vehicle began yelling for someone to call 9-1-1. The caller told operators that he could hear a male swearing and that the second person was female.

Three SPD officers, Cpl. Matthew Stewart, Officer Bryan Weber and Officer Garth Craigen, arrived on scene.  Stewart and Weber entered the alley from the west near the Chevy Tahoe and Craigen entered from the east near N. Perry St. All three were dressed in full duty uniforms and driving marked patrol vehicles.

              When police arrived, Dozier and his passenger were located outside the Tahoe to the east of the vehicle. The female began to walk away eastbound.  Officer Weber heard Dozier say something to the effect of “I’m going to die today.  I’m going to die.”  Dozier struck a bladed stance, had a cell phone to his ear with his left hand, and appeared to have a handgun in his right hand. Dozier immediately ordered the officers to stay away from him. Officers ordered Dozier to drop the gun. Dozier did not comply but began walking backwards eastbound while holding the gun down near his right side, away from his body, in such a way that it could be raised in a split second.

              By this time, Officer Craigen had positioned himself at the east end of the alley.  Weber yelled out to Dozier that there was another officer behind him. Shortly after, Dozier turned toward Craigen and began walking toward the officer, face to face.  Craigen also ordered Dozier to drop the gun.  Again, Dozier did not comply.

              Dozier then made a sudden movement to his right toward a tree and a building.  Craigen believed Dozier was seeking concealment from which to shoot at the officer. Craigen then fired a single round at Dozier to prevent Dozier from shooting at him. Dozier ran south and, despite a lengthy search, was not located.   

The subsequent investigation revealed that Dozier was not struck and was uninjured.  The gun was determined to be a BB gun that very closed resembled a true handgun. 

Under these facts and circumstances, the use of deadly force was authorized.  All responding officers believed Dozier was armed with a real gun.  Dozier carried it like it was a real gun.  Dozier refused to drop the gun despite numerous commands to do so. Despite the “drop the gun” commands, Dozier never claimed the gun was not real.      Officer Craigen feared for his life and the lives of other officers in the immediate vicinity.

Officer Craigen acted without malice. Based on these facts, Officer Craigen had an objective good faith belief in the correctness of his actions and was acting pursuant to the governing statute.  Therefore, no criminal charges will be filed against Officer Craigen in this matter.

Jessica Hines

Communications Office

Digital Content Manager │Spokane County

Suspect who Attempted to Steal a Flatbed Trailer, and Mini Excavator Found Guilty by Jury

On May 18, 2023, a jury found 29-year-old Bricen J. Steeneck, a convicted felon and one of two suspects that attempted to steal an excavator and trailer, guilty of Theft 1st Degree and Assault 2nd Degree.  The theft occurred on October 30, 2022, in the 1300 block of N. Bowdish in Spokane Valley.  

Through their investigation, Spokane Valley Major Crimes Detectives identified one suspect, the driver as Steeneck, and the second suspect, and passenger who was shot twice by the victim, as 45-year-old Robert J. Day.

Steeneck is currently scheduled to be sentenced on June 8, 2023.  He remains in custody due to this guilty verdict and an open case where he was charged with two counts of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 1st Degree. 

Day is also in custody for a charge of Theft 1st Degree stemming from this theft on October 30, 2022.  

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney A. Krotoff and held in Spokane County Superior Court, with the Honorable Spokane County Superior Court Judge Marla L. Polin presiding.

Original Release sent October 31, 2022:

Suspects Attempt to Steal Flatbed Trailer, and Mini Excavator Victim Fires a Pistol at Suspects who Drove at Him

Spokane Valley Major Crimes Detectives are investigating an incident where a victim chased down two suspects attempting to steal the victim’s flatbed trailer and mini excavator. The victim tried to block the suspect’s vehicle, but the driver backed up and then drove toward the victim, causing him to fear for his safety, and he fired his pistol at the suspect’s truck. The victim continued to try and follow the suspect’s truck and stolen equipment, later found abandoned near N. Morton Street and E. North Avenue. Spokane Police Officers assisted with the search for the suspects, but they were not located. This investigation remains open and active.

On October 30, 2022, at approximately 7:30 am., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to the report of a stolen flatbed trailer and mini excavator in the 1300 block of N. Bowdish Road in Spokane Valley. The caller stated her husband was in his truck chasing the suspected thieves, who attached their (suspect’s) truck to the trailer with the excavator and drove away.

A couple of minutes later, additional callers reported hearing gunshots in the 1500 block of N. Bowdish.

At approximately 8:00 am, callers reported a truck pulling a trailer/excavator was being chased near E. Wabash Avenue and N. Martin Street. The suspect’s truck and stolen trailer/excavator were located near N. Morton Street and E. North Avenue. Spokane Police Officers assisted, and a perimeter was quickly established.

A K9 Unit and UASs were used during the search, but the suspects were not located. A significant amount of blood was found on the passenger’s side floorboard of the suspect’s truck, and it is believed at least one of the suspects was injured during the incident.

Major Crimes Detectives responded to continue the investigation.

The suspect’s truck and the victim’s trailer, excavator, and handgun were all seized as evidence.

The victim was cooperative and later released without charges.

When located, the suspects could face several charges, including felony assault and theft.

Suspect #1 was described as a white male in his 40s, wearing a bright neon jacket.

Suspect #2 was described as a white male in his 40s, heavy set, wearing a red jacket, and limping (possibly shot in the leg).

Anyone with information regarding this incident or who can help identify the suspects is asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233, reference #10145295.

Corporal Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer