KHQ.COM - Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich released a 9 page report and timeline leading up to that shooting involving two of his deputies last June. He says changes need to be made so nothing like that happens again.
This began last April when convicted felon Charles Wallace was arrested for selling heroin after an investigation by the Spokane Regional Drug Task Force.
On May 25th, Wallace's lawyer asked that her client be released into an in-patient drug treatment program instead of jail. Not knowing that Wallace had previously threatened to shoot it out with police if he was even arrested again, Judge Cynthia Imbrogno agreed to the drug program. The report released Tuesday says the U.S. Attorney could have appealed the Judge's decision but did not. On May 31st Wallace was released from the Spokane County Jail to the care of American Behavioral Health Systems. Just days later he walked out of the treatment center with the help of a friend who supplied him with a car and $1,000. Staff say they did not know he was there on a court order and thought he had been released on his own recognizance. Two days later Sheriff's deputies contacted ABHS to check on Wallace but because of medical privacy laws and he was a patient, they could not tell them if he was still there or not. In fact Wallace, had disappeared and was not seen for nearly a month. In the report Wallace had told a friend that he would not go back to jail and would "shoot it out with police if they tried to arrest him." That's exactly what happened on June 19th when a vehicle he was driving was pulled over in north Spokane. Wallace opened fire, injuring deputies Matt Spink and Mike Northway before leading law enforcement on a 45 minute chase. After crashing his car into another officer's car in Deer Park, Wallace shot himself in the head. Sheriff Knezovich says the release of this report not only outlines what went right that day, but also things that could be corrected so nothing like this happens again. Deputies Northway and Spink continue to recover nearly a year after the shooting. The sheriff tells us he is hopeful they make a full recovery.