No charge recommended by SPD for deadly vehicle theft shooting

No charge recommended by SPD for deadly vehicle theft shooting

No charge recommended by SPD for deadly vehicle theft shooting

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 21 at 1:20 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office confirmed that Major Crimes Detectives did not recommend a charge for the man accused of shooting and killing an alleged vehicle thief.

Police completed their investigation regarding the deadly March shooting on May 13th. The Spokane County Prosecutor will now decide whether to charge Gail Gerlach with second degree murder.

Prosecutors said that does not necessarily mean authorities think Gerlach should not face charges for shooting 25-year-old Brendon Kaluza-Graham. However, officers did not include charging recommendation in the report forwarded to prosecutors.

Gerlach is accused of shooting Kaluza-Graham while he was stealing Gerlach's 1997 Chevrolet Suburban. Gerlach told police he saw the suspect pull out of his driveway. He followed Kaluza-Graham on foot and allegedly saw the suspect raise his arm. Gerlach said he fired when he thought he saw a gun. The suspect died at the scene.
 
Investigators did not recover any weapons from the car.

Gerlach does not have a criminal history and was legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon. Kaluza-Graham had several run-ins with the law before his death. Police said they found two sets of shaved keys, a flashlight and a screw driver on his body.
 
The Prosecutor's Office said they are in the process of reviewing the report given by Major Crime's Detectives. They could have a charging decision as early as next week.
 
Originally, Major Crimes Detectives listed 2nd Degree Murder for the crime being investigated on search warrant documents.

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