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Man driving stolen car shot and killed by Spokane County deputies

Spokane County deputies said there was an exchange of gunfire between them and the suspect in the Bigelow Gulch area on Friday morning.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The driver of a stolen car was shot and killed by Spokane County Sheriff's deputies on Friday in the Bigelow Gulch area of Northeast Spokane, authorities said. 

Deputies found a suspicious vehicle just before 3 a.m. on Friday, the sheriff's office said. A check of the license plates showed that it was reported stolen and did not match the vehicle on which they were displayed. The truck appeared to be occupied and the driver took off almost immediately after deputies arrived, according to the sheriff's office. 

The sheriff's office said deputies were unable to pursue the car, but they provided information to responding patrol units and dispatchers. The same car was then spotted by law enforcement after it crashed near N. Havana Street and E. Valley Springs Road, according to the sheriff's office. 

Deputies detained a woman and then began searching for a second suspect by using fresh footprints in the snow. Authorities then learned the suspect's possible identity, which showed he was a convicted felon and wanted for unlawful possession of a firearm, according to the sheriff's office.

According to the sheriff's office, the woman who was detained confirmed the man's identity. A pistol was found in a backpack at the vehicle crash scene, which authorities later determined was a "realistic-looking BB gun."

Shortly after 5 a.m. on Friday, deputies said there was an exchange of gunfire between them and the suspect, according to the sheriff's office. The sheriff's office did not say how many shots were fired between the man and deputies. Medical aid was provided but the suspect died at the scene. 

The two deputies who fired their weapons were placed on administrative leave, as per standard protocol, the sheriff's office said. Their names will be released at a later time. 

The Spokane Independent Investigative Response (SIIR) Team is investigating the incident and processing the scene. Spokane County Sheriff's Office and Spokane Valley Police Department personnel will not be involved in the investigation.

Once the SIIR Team investigation is complete, the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office will review the case. 

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