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19-year-old suspect arrested in connection to Spokane Valley teen's murder

Detectives developed information and identified 19-year-old Stephen Yohler as a suspect in Preston Grzogorek’s murder.
Credit: KREM
Stephen Yohler

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — A suspect was arrested Thursday afternoon in connection to the shooting death of Spokane Valley teen in late March, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Preston Grzogorek was shot and killed outside his Spokane Valley apartment on March 29. According to Spokane County Sheriff’s Corporal Mark Gregory, detectives developed information and identified 19-year-old Stephen Yohler as a suspect in Grzogorek’s murder. Detectives obtained a felony arrest warrant for Yohler on the charge of first degree murder.

Yohler is expected to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. In a jailhouse interview with KREM's Amanda Roley, Yohler insisted that he is innocent

Gregory said members of the U.S. Marshals Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force located Yohler at a home in the 500 block of South Coach in Spokane Valley around 1:40 p.m. SWAT was requested to assist in the arrest due to the violent nature of the crime, Gregory said.

While SWAT and detectives were on their way to the location, Yohler came out of the home and was taken into custody.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit served a search warrant on the home. Additional arrests and charges are possible, according to Gregory.

Yohler was booked into the Spokane County Jail. He will likely make his first court appearance Friday afternoon.

Gregory confirmed with KREM’s Amanda Roley that detectives have received information that Grzogorek’s death involved a dispute and/or the sale of vape pens. He said investigators are looking into whether this somehow contributed to the shooting.

The victim's sister said she is unaware of any disagreements he had with anyone but says no disagreement should justify taking her brother’s life.

Residents at Village Apartments in Spokane Valley heard multiple gunshots around 10:50 p.m. the night of Grzogorek’s murder. Some residents went toward the sounds of the gunshots and found the teenager suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, according to Gregory.

Spokane Valley deputies said Grzogorek went outside to meet a person or people and was shot. Deputies, Spokane Valley Fire and AMR provided medical care, but the teenager died at the scene. They believe he knew the suspect he was meeting and was involved in an ongoing conflict with several individuals.