Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy fired - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy fired

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Deputy Brian Hirzel was fired by Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich for unauthorized use of county-owned vehicles. Deputy Brian Hirzel was fired by Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich for unauthorized use of county-owned vehicles.
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - The Spokane County Sheriff's Office announced the termination of deputy Brian Hirzel on Wednesday. 

A press release sent out by Deputy Mark Gregory stated Hirzel was fired after an internal investigation was completed by the Sheriff's Office of Professional Standards. The investigation began after allegations of misconduct in relation to unauthorized use of county-owned vehicles. The Sheriff's Office said Hirzel had previously been disciplined in 2014 for similar conduct. 

After reviewing the case, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich determined there was just cause to fire Hirzel. 

Hirzel was hired by the Sheriff's Office in 2008 as a lateral from a north Idaho agency and in his nearly seven years with Spokane County Sheriff's Office was involved in two high-profile shootings. 

On August 25, 2010, Deputy Hirzel was involved in a controversial shooting in Spokane Valley that took the life of business owner Pastor Wayne Scott Creach. 

During that incident, 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 Creach's business 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 Deputy Hirzel's statement and evidence collected at the scene, ultimately there was a close encounter between the officer and Mr. Creach near the Hirzel's car. Deputy Hirzel stated there was a verbal exchange between himself and Mr. Creach prior to the single gunshot being fired, which killed Creach. 

Hirzel was cleared in the shooting, and no charges were filed, however the county agreed to a $2 million settlement with the Creach family in 2013 stemming from the shooting. 

Hirzel was also involved in a shooting in Spokane Valley that took the life of Jed Zillmer after he led deputies on a high speed chase into Idaho and back into Washington. The chase ended outside of the Spokane Valley Mall, at which time Zillmer got out of his car, and while reaching into his vest, was shot by six deputies, including Hirzel. 

All deputies were cleared in the shooting and no charges were filed. 

Prior to working in Idaho, court documents say Hirzel worked for the Cathedral City Police Department in California, where he was also involved in a fatal encounter, this time involving a neck hold on an individual that later died. Hirzel was never charged in that case. 


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