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Deputy who killed man during arrest attempt in Northeast Spokane was justified in use of force

The prosecutor's office says Sgt. Darin Staley, a 27-year veteran, was authorized to use deadly force in the shooting of a suspect in Northeast Spokane last August.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) deputy who shot and killed a man during an attempted arrest last August was "justified in the use of deadly force," the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office found.

The county announced Friday that SCSO Sgt. Darin Staley, a 27-year veteran, was authorized to use deadly force in the fatal shooting of a man near Pittsburg and Lyons in Northeast Spokane in August. The prosecutor's office determined Staley "feared for his life and acted in self-defense, without malice" and therefore won't be charged.

The shooting happened just before 7 a.m. on Aug. 21, 2022, in Northeast Spokane. SCSO said two deputies were trying to find the suspect, who has a felony warrant for a stolen vehicle and a misdemeanor warrant for an arrest.

Deputies found the suspect at a storage complex that morning. When the deputies confronted the suspect and told him he was under arrest, he initially put his hands up but then ran back to the cab of his truck.

The suspect then put the car in gear and reversed it towards the deputy who was behind the truck, blocking an escape. The suspect also nearly ran over Staley's foot, according to the prosecutor's office.

SCSO said Staley initially grabbed his taser and told the suspect to stop moving the truck. The suspect reportedly didn't listen and continued driving in reverse toward Staley, who subsequently dropped the taser and grabbed his gun.

Staley kept yelling commands at the suspect, who reportedly continued to ignore them and drive towards Staley. At that moment, he fired his gun several times at the suspect.

The truck stopped moving. Staley continued giving the suspect commands, but he continued to ignore them. Instead, the suspect reportedly put his truck into drive and began speeding toward Staley in "what Staley perceived as an attempt to kill him." He fired his gun again and hit the suspect.

According to SCSO, the suspect was taken to a local hospital before he died from his injuries on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

The prosecutor's office ultimately determined Staley did not act with malice or bad intent and "had an objective good faith belief in the correctness of his actions." Therefore, Staley will not be charged for the suspect's death.

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