Bishop: Improved funding may have prevented shooting near Spokan - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Bishop: Improved funding may have prevented shooting near Spokane House of Charity

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On Thursday, police shot and killed a homeless man, a block away from the House of Charity. Three officers tried to talk him down but as he advanced on them, they saw that he was holding a knife.

Dispatch calls reveal how in just 12 minutes, a routine disturbance check turned into a desperate call for backup.

A Bishop that volunteers at the House of Charity says what happened may not have happened, if it weren't for budget cuts.

"If we were open---he would have been inside here most likely," said Bishop Thomas Daly with the Spokane Catholic Diocese. That's where the man could have received professional help.

"We are striving for additional funding because we close at noon time and that began January," said Daly.

Daly says the staff knew Michael Kurtz well. He was a regular. Friends miss him. "Real nice gentleman," said O'Kelly O'Brien.

Now he's only a memory. A homemade memorial sits in his favorite spot. " Life on the street is very difficult," said Daly.

Difficult and without funding, maybe more dangerous. "What happened last night when we were working was a little unnerving," said Valerie Wilkerson with EMVY Cellars.

Wilkerson runs an upscale wine tasting room across the street from the shelter. In the four years since opening for business, she's only had to call the police three times.

"We haven't had an issue," said Wilkerson. She says nobody should worry about the area. Police patrol often.

And for Daly, he's hoping that funding will come their way soon, "Yes Spokane has it's challenges like any other urban area but I don't think people should be scared at all."

The House of Charity is looking for about $500,000 of funding to help them be open later in the evening.

They also say they are planning a memorial for Kurtz.

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