Shot fired during attempted vehicle theft in Spangle


Intoxicated Male Confronted Inside the Wrong Vehicle by Owner

Last night in Spangle near 1st and Main, several Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to a reported attempted vehicle theft where the owner of the vehicle fired a weapon into the ground causing the suspect to flee on foot. Deputies located the suspect who appeared intoxicated but uninjured. After learning the suspect’s identity and apparent intoxication leading to the confusion over which vehicle he owned, the victim declined to pursue charges. No one was injured during this incident.


On August 30, 2018 at approximately 11:55 p.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the report of an attempted vehicle theft. Additional information stated the owner of the vehicle, a white SUV, confronted the suspect and had fired a handgun into the ground scaring the suspect who fled on foot.


The victim told arriving Deputies he was inside his residence when he noticed the taillights of his vehicle come on and the engine start. He went outside and confronted the adult male suspect sitting in the driver’s seat. The suspect continued to insist the vehicle was his despite the victim saying it wasn’t. The suspect began to move the vehicle but the victim removed him from the vehicle and shut the engine off. The suspect continued to claim ownership of the vehicle leading the victim to believe the suspect would not leave, so he went inside his home and retrieved a handgun to protect himself.


The victim went back outside and told the suspect to leave again. Instead, the suspect began walking toward the victim in what he said was an aggressive manner. The victim, fearing he was about to be assaulted, fired the handgun toward the ground. The suspect stopped and then fled on foot.


The victim went back into his home and reloaded his firearm not knowing if the suspect would return. When he looked back outside, he observed the suspect standing outside his residence again. He went out and told the suspect to leave. The suspect did not heed this warning and again began to approach the victim who fired his weapon into the ground again. The victim said the suspect, who appeared to be intoxicated due to his actions and slurred speech, ran off and did not return.


Additional Deputies, including a Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit arrived in the area, established a perimeter, and began a search for the suspect.


Simultaneously, Deputies at the scene checking for evidence located a set of keys near the victim’s vehicle that did not belong to him. They used the key fob to locate what was believed to be the suspect’s white truck, and later the suspect inside a residence near the scene.


The suspect, who appeared to be very intoxicated and matched the description provided by the victim, said he was visiting family and had been drinking at a bar. He admitted to walking to the residence from the bar but denied trying to steal a vehicle.


The victim identified the suspect as the male who tried to take his vehicle but after learning of the circumstances, decided not to pursue charges.


Thankfully no one was injured during this incident. Neither the suspect, nor the victim who feared for his safety and fired his weapon into the ground, were charged.


Deputy Mark Gregory

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office

Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer

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