Deputy risks his life to protect another - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Deputy risks his life to protect another

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It was early Friday morning, during a traffic stop, Thurman sensed he and Laslo were in danger. It was early Friday morning, during a traffic stop, Thurman sensed he and Laslo were in danger.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Thousand of cars travel I-90 in the light of day, but Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Jeff Thurman and his K9 partner Laslo closely watch cars all night, in the dark.

"I've stopped thousands of vehicles," said Deputy Thurman.

It was early Friday morning, during a traffic stop, Thurman sensed he and Laslo were in danger.

"It was clear in my mind this was going to be a lethal confrontation," he said. "I know he was [passenger in the stopped car] going for a weapon, and in my mind, I'm fearing for my life. I have my weapon out and I'm telling him I'm going to shoot."

But, he never did.

"Was lethal force justified? Absolute, in my eyes. I've been in those confrontations before."  

 Instead, he released Laslo. 

The passenger grabbed Laslo's collar and beat him, but Laslo stayed strong and continued to do his job. 

"Laslo's my best buddy but he's a tool," said Deputy Thurman.

When back-up arrived, the passenger was taken into custody. Deputy Thurman wants you to remember, though, that "we're not these robots out there. There's a picture painted that we want to press that trigger but that's not the case."  

Deputy Thurman put himself at risk, to do everything he could to save a life.

"That suspect that was trying to get a gun to kill me, the same day he goes to court, if someone shoots up the court room, I'd lay down my life for him," explained Deputy Thurman. Because that is his job. 

When Deputy Thurman searched the car, he found 3 weapons - 2 in the backpack in the backseat. The man who was reaching for that backpack is still in jail. 

   

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