SIRR Team Investigation October 23, 2019, Officer-Involved Shooting

SIRR Team Investigation October 23, 2019, Officer-Involved Shooting

The Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team (SIRR) is investigating an Officer-Involved Shooting incident involving an armed and reportedly suicidal male and a Spokane Police Officer on October 23, 2019.             

On October 23, 2019, at approximately 1:30 p.m., Spokane Police Officers responded to a call in the 3400 block of E. Garnet Avenue of an armed and suicidal male, later identified by the Spokane County Medical Examiner as 61-year-old David W. Shafer. 

The caller, an acquaintance of Shafer, said Shafer was distraught and armed with a pistol.  He had a history of suicidal attempts and was threatening to shoot himself.  While officers responded, the caller and another witness wrestled the handgun away from Shafer and tried to subdue him, but Shafer broke free.

Shafer ran to his residence and went inside.  The caller stated he believed Shafer had more firearms inside his home and was afraid Shafer would try to harm himself.  Both witnesses waited in their vehicle parked down the block.     

Shafer exited his residence with a second handgun and stood in the driveway.  By phone, Shafer told one of the witnesses he was, “waiting for the cops to show up”.    

Witnesses stated a Spokane Police Officer arrived at the scene and gave commands for Shafer to drop the weapon.  Shafer turned and began to raise the handgun in the direction of the officer who then fired twice, striking Shafer. 

Officers secured the scene and immediately provided medical attention until medics arrived.  Despite everyone’s life-saving efforts, Shafer was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

The Officer-Involved Critical Incident Protocol was enacted, and the SIRR Team responded to conduct the investigation and processing the scene for evidence.

SIRR Investigators will review the Spokane Police Department Officers’ body-worn cameras.  Investigators also contacted neighbors in the area to contact any witnesses or obtain any home surveillance video of the incident.

Two semi-automatic handguns, one the witnesses took from Shafer and the other located near his body, were recovered by Investigators.    

The SIRR Team asks anyone who has not previously been contacted by Detectives and either witnessed this incident or has video of this incident to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233. 

No other citizens or officers were injured.

The SIRR Team is comprised of multiple agencies in eastern Washington, including the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington State Patrol, Spokane Valley Police, and the Spokane Police Department. 

  • The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is the managing agency in this incident. All future communications on this incident will be sent via the SIRR Team.
  • The Spokane Police Department will release the name of the officer involved in this incident.
  • Once the SIRR Team investigation is complete, the case will be forwarded to the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

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Corporal Mark Gregory

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office

Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer

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