SPOKANE, Wash. – Both men remain at Sacred Heart Medical Center recovering from their injuries, after Tuesday's senseless shooting.
Both men are husbands, fathers, and have worked patrol in the north division since 1999. They've worked closely together over the last 6 years, and are friends.
Matt Spink, 45, has one child, and took one bullet to the leg. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said he's doing very well, and he's been in good spirits during their hospital visits.
But the road to recovery for Deputy Mike Northway will be longer.
He was shot four times Tuesday, when the deputies approached Charles Wallace's car, and took a bullet to each of his arms and legs. Sheriff Knezovich says his most serious injury is to the left arm, where a 3-inch section of artery was ‘blown away' by the bullet.
Sheriff Knezovich said Northway was in surgery for ‘quite a while' last night, and there was ‘grave' concern for him overnight. He's expected to undergo several more surgeries to repair the artery. On top of that, he's dealing with a shattered femur. It's too early to know if there may be any long-term damage, or if a full recovery is likely.
This afternoon, Sheriff Knezovich said ‘thank you' to the citizens of Spokane who saw the two deputies down, and rushed in to help, applying pressure to their gunshots to help stop the bleeding before paramedics arrived.
It may be that those deputies are alive tonight because of that help.
"Both Deputies Spink and Northway want me to express this: their heartfelt thanks for coming to their aid, and quite frankly, possibly saving their lives," Sheriff Knezovich said in a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Deputy Spink joined the sheriff's office in 1999, and has been assigned to patrol in the north district since then.
Deputy Northway began his sheriff's office career in the jail, and then transferred to patrol in 1999. He has covered several districts, but was assigned mostly to the north over the last six years.
The sheriff describes them both as ‘great men.' He said today Deputy Spink's name comes across his desk quite often, getting praise and positive feedback from the community. He said Deputy Northway has always been a consistent team player, and has always been a great deputy.
"The families are doing well – as well as can be expected," the sheriff said. "There's going to be a lot of shock right now. I think the entire law enforcement community is in shock right now."