Deputies identified in fatal shooting, no weapon found on suspect



Posted on September 7, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 11:19 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The two Spokane County Sheriff's Office Deputies who shot and killed a domestic violence suspect Wednesday have been identified.

The deputies involved were identified as Deputy Aaron Childress, a 13 year veteran and Deputy Eric Werner, a 23 year veteran. The two involved deputies were interviewed Friday by SIRR detectives.

The suspect killed in the shooting was identified as 47-year-old Edward Stanley Gover.

The shooting happened just after noon Wednesday, in the 1300 block of North Skipworth Court. Deputy Childress had responded to a domestic violence call between the victim and Gover back in June and was familiar with their situation according to Spokane Police.

The 69-year-old victim ran to a neighbor's house for help Wednesday morning, according to Spokane Police. She told the neighbor her boyfriend, 47-year-old Edward Stanley Gover, stabbed her in the arm the night before and held against her will. Gover then allegedly stole her cell phone, car keys and purse, preventing her from calling police overnight. The neighbor immediately called 911 and deputies responded.

Deputy Childress' contacted the victim inside her residence Wednesday. She explained the assault from the night before; a struggle with a knife resulting in a laceration to her arm, Gover took her cell phone and told her he was going to kill her and then himself. He continued to demand that she get a handgun from the safe. The victim was convinced Gover would kill her if she attempted to leave. Gover stole her Mercedes and left the residence.  Gover met with an acquaintance that morning and made suicidal statements.

Gover returned to the home several times before deputies arrived according to a release from Spokane Police.

Deputy Childress developed probable cause for 2nd degree assault, he photographed the victim's injuries, and was in the process of obtaining a written victim statement.  The victim described the knife in detail and showed Childress a similar knife. Concerned that Gover may return to the victim's home, he asked Deputy Werner to assist on the domestic violence call. 

Deputy Childress briefed Deputy Werner about the domestic violence assault and advised him his concern about the knife and handgun. Deputy Bond met Deputy Werner mid block on Skipworth Ct, while Dep. Childress parked in a neighbor's driveway to write his report.  All 3 deputies were concerned Gover would return to kill the victim.

Deputy Bond and Deputy Werner were parked driver door to driver door mid block when Gover returned in the Mercedes. The deputies recognized Gover's intense, determined look and were concerned about his state of mind.

Deputies pursued Gover away from the home and found the Mercedes abandoned a few streets away.  Deputies were concerned Gover was going to return to the victim's home, so they returned to the Skipworth address.  Deputy Childress attempted to have the victim notified of Gover's return and advised her to lock all the doors.

When deputies got to the victim's home, they found several doors open and they couldn't find the victim.  Deputies were extremely concerned they had a hostage situation.

Deputies began searching the area for Gover.  As Dep. Childress entered the backyard, Gover popped his head up over the fence.  Dep. Childress yelled at Gover that he is under arrest and to come over the fence.

“The deputies at the residence directed the victim to get back into her house, shut the garage door and lock the doors. They positioned themselves in between the suspect, who was clearly returning to the house where the victim was [and the victim],” Maj. Craig Meidl of the Spokane Police Department said.

Gover jumped the 6ft fence and said he had something in his hands and indicated he had a weapon.  Gover shoved his hand into his pants pocket, said he had a knife and then pulled his hand out and put it behind his back, in an attempt to conceal it from deputies.  Deputies saw something black and shiny in Gover's hand. 

Gover yelled to officers that they would have to kill him and continued to charge at Dep. Childress. Gover was able to advance within 8-10 feet of Dep. Childress;  both deputies believed Gover was armed with a weapon. Throughout the encounter, Dep. Childress was giving commands for Gover to show his hands, get on the ground and as Gover was charging him, Dep. Childress yelled at Gover to stop. Dep. Childress fired his handgun five times and Dep. Werner fired his shotgun once.

Deputies immediately began performing CPR until medics arrived.

Detectives located a set of keys, black and shiny, next to Gover after the shooting. Detectives also located the knife used in the assault in the kitchen and discovered the handgun was still in the safe.

Detectives are continuing their investigation, and once completed the report will be submitted to the Prosecutor's Office for review.

Gover has an extensive criminal history, including domestic violence assaults according to Spokane Police.

Gover’s identity was not immediately released, pending next of kin notification. Spokane police announced Thursday that other media published the mistaken identity of the suspect. KREM 2 News waited to publish it until the medical examiner’s office released the information.