Gun Used to Shoot Spokane Deputies Last Summer Was Stolen - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gun Used To Shoot Spokane Deputies Last Summer Was Stolen From Trooper

SPOKANE, Wash. - A KHQ special investigation found that the gun used by convicted felon Charles Wallace to shoot and nearly kill two Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies last summer was stolen from a Utah Highway Patrol Trooper.

Sergeant Robert Nixon, an 11-year veteran of the Utah Highway Patrol, said his Glock 22 .40 caliber duty weapon, was stolen from his car in September 2011. Nine months later, Wallace, 41, used Nixon's gun in a shooting that nearly took the lives of Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies Matt Spink, 45, and Mike Northway, 42..

On June 19, 2012 a routine traffic stop near Elm and Newport Highway in north Spokane turned into anything but when Wallace got out of the car and started firing as the deputies approached the car. Wallace fired 10 rounds in 10 seconds. Deputy Matt Spink was shot once in the leg. However, Deputy Mike Northway took four bullets - one in each arm and leg. The most serious injury was to the artery in his left arm, where a three-inch section was blown away.

Wallace then led law enforcement on a high-speed chase through north Spokane County and into Deer Park, where he ultimately turned the gun on himself. It was an attack so rare, the last time a Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy had been shot was in 1974.

"In my head, one of my worst fears was another officer to get shot with that gun," Sgt. Nixon said. "So obviously, that's one of my first fears come true."

Back in September of 2011, Nixon was visiting family in Liberty Lake. He explained to KHQ that he locked up his gun in his rental car for safe-keeping. "Between the two families, we have six children in the house and I didn't want to have a gun in the house," Nixon explained.

However, when Nixon went to leave the home, he noticed a thief had broken into his rental and stole his gun.

"I was sick. I was sick to my stomach about it," Nixon said.

No one knows who stole the gun from Sgt. Nixon's car so how it ended up in Wallace's hands is a mystery. But no matter how Wallace retrieved the weapon, as a convicted felon and career criminal, he was not legally allowed to have a gun.

"To find out that (the gun) was used against one of our own - it was indescribable," said Spokane Police Spokesperson, Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

For Officer DeRuwe, the trail of the gun is less worrisome than the fact that they're ending up in the hands of convicted felons. It's a troubling trend, she said, is on the rise. DeRuwe could not immediately provide the number of stolen guns in our community but she did say, that according to crime stats, there were six gun-related homicides in 2012.

"Through my experience, and my tenure as a police officer, more and more guns are out on the streets. More and more bad guys have guns," she said. "And more often than not, they're armed illegally."

Through a public records request, KHQ found Spokane P.D. recovered 812 guns used in crimes since 2010. Hundreds of pages show cops busted criminals for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm; In other words, criminals were busted for having guns they should not have had in their possession.

In the business of gun trafficking, research shows firearms often move from legal manufacture to dealers to criminals. Once on the streets, guns are often traded between criminals. The guns can trade hands for a variety of reasons including when gun dealers sell illegally, when "straw purchasers" buy guns on behalf of criminals, or when crooks swipe firearms in property crimes.

"Where there's a will, there's a way with these criminals," DeRuwe said. "It does serve as a reminder to our community that guns are out there and they're in Spokane and we can't look the other way."

And they aren't. After a stolen gun landed in a felon's hands and led to a violent crime, police are adamant they're looking at every way to ensure firearms don't fall into the wrong hands.

"So what do you do?" DeRuwe said. "That is a thing discussed on a continuing basis. Chief Straub has made it very clear - we are going to reduce violent crime. We need to become the safest city of our size."

Officers said Walllace's case serves as very important reminder for gun owners to safely store their firearms.

As for Sgt. Nixon, KHQ found there was no fallout from his department for the stolen gun since he reported the gun stolen right away to both local authorities and the Utah Highway Patrol. Nixon's firearm has since been returned to him.

Nixon also told KHQ that he rests much easier knowing that the two deputies survived and said he plans on reaching out to them to offer his support.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Head-on crash kills 1, injures 8, when driver attempts to pass slow-moving vehicle on Hwy 95

    Head-on crash kills 1, injures 8, when driver attempts to pass slow-moving vehicle on Hwy 95

    Thursday, November 23 2017 4:01 PM EST2017-11-23 21:01:52 GMT

    SAGLE, Idaho - A fatal and serious injury head-on crash has killed one man and injured eight others, including five children, who all had to be transported to Kootenai Health. The crash occurred on Wednesday, November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, on Highway 95 at milepost 466.5, two miles south of Sagle, Idaho.

    >>

    SAGLE, Idaho - A fatal and serious injury head-on crash has killed one man and injured eight others, including five children, who all had to be transported to Kootenai Health. The crash occurred on Wednesday, November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, on Highway 95 at milepost 466.5, two miles south of Sagle, Idaho.

    >>
  • Victims in Lewiston double homicide identified

    Victims in Lewiston double homicide identified

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 9:38 PM EST2017-11-23 02:38:39 GMT

    LEWISTON, Idaho - Autopsies have been performed on the two women who were found dead in Lewiston on Tuesday. One victim was identified as suspect Richard Allen Carlin's ex-wife, 72-year-old Raetta Dee Carlin. The other woman was identified as 50-year-old Michelle Lynn Carlin, the daughter of Raetta and Richard Carlin.

    >>

    LEWISTON, Idaho - Autopsies have been performed on the two women who were found dead in Lewiston on Tuesday. One victim was identified as suspect Richard Allen Carlin's ex-wife, 72-year-old Raetta Dee Carlin. The other woman was identified as 50-year-old Michelle Lynn Carlin, the daughter of Raetta and Richard Carlin.

    >>
  • Semi crash on I-90 in Coeur d'Alene blocks eastbound lanes for hours

    Semi crash on I-90 in Coeur d'Alene blocks eastbound lanes for hours

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 10:41 PM EST2017-11-23 03:41:53 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - One person was taken to the hospital after a crash with a semi truck in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Wednesday morning. It happened around 11:45 a.m. Idaho State Police report a white 2017 Freightliner truck towing three box trailers driven by 40-year-old Ricardo T.J. Saenz of Pasco, Washington. was headed eastbound and attempted to change lanes.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - One person was taken to the hospital after a crash with a semi truck in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Wednesday morning. It happened around 11:45 a.m. Idaho State Police report a white 2017 Freightliner truck towing three box trailers driven by 40-year-old Ricardo T.J. Saenz of Pasco, Washington. was headed eastbound and attempted to change lanes.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Head-on crash kills 1, injures 8, when driver attempts to pass slow-moving vehicle on Hwy 95

    Head-on crash kills 1, injures 8, when driver attempts to pass slow-moving vehicle on Hwy 95

    Thursday, November 23 2017 4:01 PM EST2017-11-23 21:01:52 GMT

    SAGLE, Idaho - A fatal and serious injury head-on crash has killed one man and injured eight others, including five children, who all had to be transported to Kootenai Health. The crash occurred on Wednesday, November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, on Highway 95 at milepost 466.5, two miles south of Sagle, Idaho.

    >>

    SAGLE, Idaho - A fatal and serious injury head-on crash has killed one man and injured eight others, including five children, who all had to be transported to Kootenai Health. The crash occurred on Wednesday, November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, on Highway 95 at milepost 466.5, two miles south of Sagle, Idaho.

    >>
  • Las Vegas pot dispensaries offer Black Friday deals

    Las Vegas pot dispensaries offer Black Friday deals

    Thursday, November 23 2017 3:47 PM EST2017-11-23 20:47:50 GMT
    Things are about to change for several people in Spokane.Things are about to change for several people in Spokane.

    LAS VEGAS (AP) - Big box stores won't be the only ones offering discounts to shoppers in Las Vegas this Black Friday. Marijuana dispensaries in the area are rolling out deals, too. The Las Vegas Sun reports more than 40 dispensaries in the Las Vegas area will offer discounts on marijuana flower products, edibles such as chocolates, and concentrates.

    >>

    LAS VEGAS (AP) - Big box stores won't be the only ones offering discounts to shoppers in Las Vegas this Black Friday. Marijuana dispensaries in the area are rolling out deals, too. The Las Vegas Sun reports more than 40 dispensaries in the Las Vegas area will offer discounts on marijuana flower products, edibles such as chocolates, and concentrates.

    >>
  • Sound heard in Argentine sub search could be explosion

    Sound heard in Argentine sub search could be explosion

    Thursday, November 23 2017 2:45 PM EST2017-11-23 19:45:18 GMT

    MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina (AP) - Argentina's navy announced Thursday that a sound detected during the search for a missing submarine is consistent with that of an explosion - an ominous development in the hunt for the vessel and its 44 crew members.   Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said that the relatives of the crew have been informed and that the search will continue until there is full certainty about the fate of the ARA San Juan.

    >>

    MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina (AP) - Argentina's navy announced Thursday that a sound detected during the search for a missing submarine is consistent with that of an explosion - an ominous development in the hunt for the vessel and its 44 crew members.   Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said that the relatives of the crew have been informed and that the search will continue until there is full certainty about the fate of the ARA San Juan.

    >>