Officer-Involved Shooting Justified - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Officer-Involved Shooting Justified

29-year-old Ethan Corporon 29-year-old Ethan Corporon

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SPOKANE INVESTIGATIVE REGIONAL RESPONSE TEAM: The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office has ruled that police were justified last November when they shot and killed a 29-year-old Spokane man after he fired a half dozen shotgun rounds into an occupied Spokane home and then refused to disarm as he fled from police in the area of Monroe and Indiana.

Chief Criminal Deputy Jack Driscoll concluded in his review of the shooting that Spokane police were justified in their use of deadly force because Ethan Corporon had fired six rounds from a shotgun and then refused repeated commands to drop his weapon when confronted by officers who had legitimate concerns for their own safety and the safety of others.

On November 12, 2010, Corporon drove his father's pickup to a home in the 1400 block of West Buckeye about 3 p.m. Witnesses heard and saw him fire at the back door of the home while yelling "come out of the house, I'm going to kill you."

Corporon got back into the truck and was driving away when the first Spokane Police patrol car arrived to the report of a "drive-by shooting." A witness had called 911 and given police the description of the truck.

Officer Dan Cole recognized the truck and began following it southbound on Monroe.  He stopped his patrol car behind Corporon near the east side of the Shari's Restaurant and saw the suspect exit the truck with a shotgun and begin running toward the open eatery. 

Fearing Corporon would enter Shari's and engage in hostage-taking, he fired a single shot at him. The shot missed, but Corporon changed directions and ran around the south side of the restaurant.

Investigators determined that in the next few minutes, 14 shots were fired from five different SPD officers' duty pistols, and 12 shots from one officer's AR-15 law enforcement carbine.  Corporon was killed and a subsequent autopsy showed he had been hit twice.

Numerous civilian witnesses reported hearing officers ordering Corporon to drop his weapon.

Because the incident involved the use of deadly force by police, the Critical Incident Protocol was invoked. The shooting was investigated jointly by detectives from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, Spokane Police Department and Washington State Patrol, with sheriff's major crimes detective Tim Hines in the lead.

The detectives were able to determine that one of Kyle Heuett's AR-15 bullets struck Corporon, but were unable to conclusively determine which officer's pistol round struck the suspect.

Investigators did learn that Corporon had a history of mental illness, and that he had marijuana in his system the day of the shooting.

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