Deputy Will Not Be Charged In Creach Shooting - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Deputy Will Not Be Charged In Creach Shooting

OFFICIAL RELEASE: Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney Steve Tucker will not file criminal charges against Deputy Brian Hirzel for the shooting of Pastor Wayne Scott Creach on August 25, 2010.

According to Tucker, the investigation conducted by the Spokane Police Department and Washington State Patrol was thoroughly reviewed by three seasoned deputy prosecutors.  "Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Jack Driscoll, Larry Steinmetz and Ed Hay have more than 70 years of experience in criminal cases. As a result of the evidence, investigation and their review, it was determined that the facts of the case do not warrant filing criminal charges against Deputy Hirzel," Tucker said. 

Justifiable homicide or the use of deadly force by law enforcement is outlined in the Washington State Criminal Code.  WCC 9A.16.040 (3) states, "A public officer shall not be held criminally liable for using deadly force without malice and with a good faith belief that such act is justifiable pursuant to this section."

During a meeting with the Creach family this morning, Tucker gave them a copy of the report and discussed the results of the investigation.

>>>Stay with KHQ Local News, KHQ.Com, Facebook and our Twitter news feed for the very latest on this breaking development.

Officer Hirzel told detectives he was in the neighborhood of 14200 E 4th Ave conducting a prowl check based on a request from a citizen earlier that day for that particular block. Officer Hirzel stated he chose the large parking lot of the Plant Farm because it allowed him to conduct the prowl check safely, and also for its proximity to the address where the prowl check was first requested. Officer Hirzel also stated that he saw Mr. Creach approaching his vehicle from a distance of approximately 30ft and that Mr. Creach had a firearm in his hand.

According to Officer Hirzel's statement and evidence collected at the scene, ultimately there was a close encounter between the officer and Mr. Creach near the officer's car. Officer Hirzel stated there was a verbal exchange between himself and Mr. Creach prior to the single gunshot being fired. Officer Hirzel's statement and the evidence confirms only one shot was fired.

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