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Police: Two rifles found 'in close proximity' to location of man shot by Spokane County deputies

No information was given about what happened before the shots were fired, but police said two rifles were found "in close proximity" to the location of the shooting.

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — New details were released on Wednesday regarding a shooting that occurred near the Bigelow Gulch area on Dec. 10. Reports state the man who was killed by Spokane deputies burglarized a house before the shooting and stole two weapons from the house.

Deputy Kyle Leavenworth and Deputy Ashley Hood were identified as the officers involved in the shooting. Leavenworth has been with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) since 2016, while Hood joined the force in October 2021.

According to a release from the Spokane Police Department (SPD), Leavenworth and Hood observed a suspicious vehicle near East Euclid Avenue and North Cuba Street at 2:53 a.m. on Dec. 10. The two ran a registration check and found the license plate on the vehicle and discovered it was stolen, according to SPD.

When the driver of the car noticed Leavenworth and Hood, SPD said they fled the scene and were not followed.

Leavenworth and Hood located the car near North Havana Street and East Valley Springs Road about five minutes later. They noticed a female sitting in the car, as well as a set of footprints in the snow that suggested another person walked away from the area.

SPD said Leavenworth and Hood learned the identity of the man who left the area and said he reportedly had multiple active arrest warrants for unlawful possession of a firearm, burglary and other crimes.

Leavenworth and Hood began checking the area with the help of the man's footprints in the snow. At 5:06 a.m., the two found the man near a residence by East Bigelow Gulch Road.

An initial report from SCSO on Dec. 10 said an exchange of gunfire occurred between the suspect and Leavenworth and Hood, while a report from SPD sent out on Wednesday said "a deputy-involved shooting occurred."

The Spokane County Medical Examiner identified the man as 43-year-old Michael Lee Dingman. His cause of death was listed as multiple gunshot wounds, and the manner of death was listed as homicide.

No information was given regarding what happened before the shots were fired, but SPD said two rifles were found "in close proximity" to the location of the shooting.

SPD said an initial investigation indicates the man burglarized the property where the shooting took place and stole the two rifles that were later found by deputies. The homeowners were not in the house at the time of the burglary and police do not believe the man had any connection to the property.

Leavenworth and Hood were placed on paid administrative leave. The Spokane Independent Investigative Response (SIIR) Team is investigating the incident. Once the SIIR Team investigation is complete, the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office will review the case. 

Because SCSO personnel were involved in the shooting, the agency will not be involved in the investigation.

Credit: Spokane County Sheriff's Office
Deputy Kyle Leavenworth (left) and Deputy Ashley Hood.

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