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

UPDATE: Investigation Completed In Deadly Officer Involved Shooting In Spokane Valley

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Aaron Childress left, Eric Werner on the right Aaron Childress left, Eric Werner on the right
Christopher Meeker, According To Facebook.com Profile Christopher Meeker, According To Facebook.com Profile

UPDATE FROM SPOKANE POLICE DEPT: The investigation into the officer-involved shooting at the 1300 block of N. Skipworth in Spokane Valley in September has been completed and given to the Prosecutor's office for review.

UPDATED PRESS RELEASE: Spokane Investigative Regional Response (SIRR) continue their investigation of the Spokane Sheriff's Deputies shooting of a domestic violence suspect identified as Edward S. Gover (4/16/65) The shooting occurred on September 5, 2012 just after noon in the back yard of 1309 N. Skipworth Ct. 

The two involved deputies were interviewed today by SIRR detectives. Deputy Aaron Childress, a 13-year-veteran and Deputy Eric Werner, a 23-year-veteran, were the two deputies involved in the shooting.

Deputy Childress had responded to a domestic violence call between the victim and Gover back in June and was familiar with their situation.

Deputy Childress' contacted the victim inside her residence on September 5, 2012. She explained the assault from the night before; a struggle with a knife resulting in a laceration to her arm, Gover took her cell phone (the only phone) and told her he was going to kill her and then himself. 

He continued to demand that she get a handgun from the safe. The victim was convinced Gover would kill her if she attempted to leave. The next morning, Gover stole her Mercedes and left the residence. Gover met with an acquaintance that morning and made suicidal statements. He returned to the home several times before deputies arrived.

Deputy Childress developed probable cause for 2nd degree assault, he photographed the victim's injuries, and was in the process of obtaining a written victim statement. The victim described the knife in detail and showed Childress a similar knife. 

Concerned that Gover may return to the victim's home, he asked Deputy Werner to assist on the dv call.  Deputy Childress briefed Deputy Werner about the domestic violence assault and advised him his concern about the knife and handgun. 

Deputy Bond met Deputy Werner mid block on Skipworth Ct, while Dep. Childress parked in a neighbor's driveway to write his report. All 3 deputies were concerned Gover would return to kill the victim. 

Deputy Bond and Deputy Werner were parked driver door to driver door mid block when Gover returned in the Mercedes. The deputies recognized Gover's intense, determined look and were concerned about his state of mind.

Deputies pursued Gover away from the home and found the Mercedes abandoned a few streets away. Deputies were concerned Gover was going to return to the victim's home, so they returned to the Skipworth address. Deputy Childress attempted to have the victim notified of Gover's return and advised her to lock all the doors.

When deputies got to the victim's home, they found several doors open and they couldn't find the victim. Deputies were extremely concerned they had a hostage situation. 

Deputies began searching the area for Gover.  As Dep. Childress entered the backyard, Gover popped his head up over the fence. Dep. Childress yelled at Gover that he is under arrest and to come over the fence. 

Gover jumped the 6ft fence and said he had something in his hands and indicated he had a weapon. Gover shoved his hand into his pants pocket, said he had a knife and then pulled his hand out and put it behind his back, in an attempt to conceal it from deputies.  Deputies saw something black and shiny in Gover's hand. 

Gover yelled to officers that they would have to kill him and continued to charge at Dep. Childress. Gover was able to advance within 8-10 feet of Dep. Childress; both deputies believed Gover was armed with a weapon. 

Throughout the encounter, Dep. Childress was giving commands for Gover to show his hands, get on the ground and as Gover was charging him, Dep. Childress yelled at Gover to stop. Dep. Childress fired his handgun five times and Dep. Werner fired his shotgun once.

Deputies immediately began performing CPR until medics arrived.

Detectives located a set of keys, black and shiny, next to Gover after the shooting. Detectives also located the knife used in the assault in the kitchen and discovered the handgun was still in the safe. 

Detectives are continuing their investigation, and once completed the report will be submitted to the Prosecutor's Office for review.

UPDATED PRESS RELEASE: Spokane Investigative Regional Response (SIRR) continue their investigation of the Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputies shooting of a domestic violence suspect. The shooting occurred Wednesday, just after noon, in the backyard of 1309 N. Skipworth Ct. 

Wednesday morning, a  69-year-old woman ran to a neighbor's house for help. She told the neighbor she had been stabbed the night before and held against her will by her boyfriend. He also stole her cell phone, car keys and purse, preventing her from calling police overnight. The neighbor immediately called police and Spokane Valley Deputies responded. 

Deputies learned the suspect had stabbed the victim in the arm the previous night and held her at knife point so she couldn't call police. He had stolen the victim's Mercedes before officers responded.

While two deputies were parked in front of the victim's house, the suspect returned in the stolen Mercedes. Deputies had probable cause to arrest him for 2nd Degree Assault when he returned. When the suspect saw the deputies, he turned around in the cul de sac and fled the area. 

At this point, responding deputies were aware the suspect was homicidal, suicidal and likely armed.  During the pursuit, the victim was advised to lock her doors and close the garage door. 

The vehicle pursuit lasted only a few blocks when the suspect fled from the car near Boone and Pierce. Fearing he was attempting to return to the victim's home, responding deputies returned to protect the victim. Meanwhile, the suspect jumped over fences, running through several yards towards the victim's house. 

As the suspect climbed over the backyard fence of the victim's home, two deputies confronted him. Deputies were concerned the suspect would get inside the home and further assault the victim. A confrontation occurred in the backyard of 1309 N. Skipworth Ct. and one deputy fired 5 rounds from his handgun, striking the suspect in the torso.  The second deputy fired one round from his shotgun, striking the suspect in the torso.

Other deputies continued to respond and began performing CPR until medics arrived. The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The suspect has an extensive criminal history including domestic violence assaults.

73% of homicides investigated by Spokane County Sheriff's Office since 2009 have been domestic violence related.

The suspect's identity has not been released, pending next of kin notification.

UPDATE: A close friend confirms with KHQ that the man shot and killed by Spokane Valley Police yesterday is named Ed Gover. Gover's name used to be Christopher Meeker and earlier in the summer Gover made a Facebook under his former name Christopher Meeker. According to Gover's friend "no one knows why" he changed his name on the social networking site. 

We're going to have much more coverage on this story coming up tonight on KHQ Local News at 5pm.

UPDATE: At this hour we're awaiting autopsy results. As soon as we get them we'll post them here on KHQ.com, Facebook and our Twitter news feed.

UPDATE: Multiple sources confirm with KHQ Alex Rozier the man that was shot and killed by Spokane Valley Police is Christopher Meeker.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A man is dead following an officer involved shooting in the area of 1309 N. Skipworth in Spokane Valley. Responding officers performed CPR on the suspect before he was transported to a local hospital. That's where he died.

This all started with a domestic violence call regarding a Tuesday night stabbing. The woman called this morning and said she had been stabbed the night before. When deputies arrived they saw the suspect leave in a black Mercedes. He eventually took off on foot and ended up in the backyard of the home where the domestic violence call first came in. The shots were fired in the backyard.

A Spokane County Sheriff's source says "our guys are fine." Authorities say this all started around 10:20am, that's when the domestic violence call came in on N. Skipworth.

KHQ reporter, Kelsey Watts, spoke with witnesses and neighbors on Wednesday.

One witness told KHQ's Kelsey Watts he heard between 6-10 rapidly fired shots. It's not clear how many rounds were actually fired, or if the suspect was armed.

Neighbors said they heard the screeching of police cars, and didn't know what to do.

"My neighbor next door, she saw the suspect running across the street in my neighbor's yard there, and then we heard three shots," Katie Wisener told KHQ. "Then cruisers just came from everywhere."

With swarms of police cars arriving, and crime tape going up, neighbors didn't know what had just happened, or that a man had just died after being shot by deputies.

"I was scared out of my mind, I didn't know what was going on, especially with the gun shots, it totally freaked me out." Wisener added.

It's a crime way too close to home for Maria Sarquilla, who lives just a few doors down from where the shooting happened.

"When I saw 15 police cars out there I thought, 'Who is it?  It has to be one of my neighbors,'" she said. "Looking across the street I know, I recognized it was one of our neighbors that's very close to us, and it gets to be very scary when you see that many police men."

Sarquilla says crime in the area has been on the rise. Three years ago a man was murdered down the street, and she says this is another reason she doesn't feel safe.

"The police have to do their job, and if someone has a gun, obviously they have to protect themselves," she said. "But if he shot him in cold blood, I'd definitely be against that."

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SPOKANE POLICE DEPT:

Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputies shot and killed a domestic violence suspect just after noon on Wednesday. 

At 10:30am , Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputies responded to the area of 1300 N. Skipworth to take a domestic violence report. The female victim reported she had been stabbed by her boyfriend the night before, and showed deputies her injuries. The male suspect had taken her black Mercedes and fled the home prior to deputies' arrival.

A short time later, the suspect, driving the black Mercedes, drove past deputies parked in the area of University and Boone. 

Deputies pursued the suspect for a few blocks until the suspect fled the vehicle on foot. Other responding deputies confronted the suspect in the backyard of the Skipworth address. At 12:08 pm, Deputies advised "shots fired" and immediately began performing CPR. 

Medics arrived and transported the suspect to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Members of the Spokane Investigative Regional Response team responded to complete the investigation, per the regional critical incident protocol. 

Under the protocol a case manager is assigned, in this incident the Spokane Police Department detectives will be case managers, with assistance from the Washington State Patrol and Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Information is very limited as detectives are in the initial phase of the investigation. An autopsy will be completed by the Medical Examiner's Office, and the identity of the suspect will be confirmed and released by their office. 

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