SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office determined Monday that two Spokane Police officers were justified in a shooting in October.
Prosecutors said officers Ryan Smith and Darrell Quarles were justified in using force while attempting to arrest Chad Cochell in the parking lot of the Shadle Walmart on West Wellesley on October 4.
Officials said, at the time, Spokane Police had been looking for a white 1994 Ford Explorer ever since a carjacking that happened two days before the shooting on N. Crestline. Police said a person had been shot twice and the Explorer had been stolen. Officials said the victim of the shooting was taken to the hospital with serious life-threatening injuries. After the shooting, police said the suspect had not been identified.
Then, on October 4, and officer saw the Explorer in the parking lot of the Walmart around 4:45 p.m. Officials said there was a man in the driver’s seat and a woman in the passenger seat. Police then developed a plan to block the car’s path to minimize the likelihood of an escape and several police cars were positioned to prevent the car from leaving.
Authorities said the car then hit a police vehicle that was directly in front of it. Officers said they were concerned the driver was going to escape and it would put them and civilians in the parking lot.
Authorities said officers approached the car on foot and saw the driver was moving around and had a gun pointed to his head. Officers gave multiple commands to drop the gun but Cochell ignored them. Then, because of the immediate threat to officers and the public, Officer Smith fired his patrol rifle at Cochell one time and Officer Quarles fired his shotgun twice. Cochell was later pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Prosecutors said it was reasonable for Officers Smith and Quarles to use deadly force because Cochell presented a serious and immediate threat to officers and shoppers on the scene. They said there is no indication either officer acted out of malice, therefore no criminal charges will be filed.
Editor's Note: The Spokane County Prosecutor initially identified the victim of the carjacking as deceased, then Tuesday issued a release saying the victim had survived their injuries.This story has been updated to reflect that the victim lived.