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Spokane Police release name of officer who shot man claiming to be in KKK

Officer Brandon Rankin fired shot that killed 35-year-old David Novak after neighbors believed he was armed and firing shots from house.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Police Department has released the name of the officer who shot and killed a man on the 600 block of Montgomery on Jan. 7.

Officer Brandon Rankin was named in a press release as the person who fired the shot that killed 35-year-old David Novak after neighbors had reported Novak had fired shots, walked over to them, began using racial slurs and said he was a member of the KKK.

Rankin joined the SPD in May 2015 and earned the Chief’s Citation Award in September 2017, according to the release.

Credit: KREM/SPD

During the incident, Novak had also begun grabbing one of the three men and attempted to strike them, according to police. After being told to leave the property, police say Novak told the men he was going to shoot and kill them as he walked toward his house.

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According to police, a responding officer told dispatch they had heard a gunshot and moments later a confrontation led to Novak being shot by Rankin. While Novak did retreat into his house after being shot, he was found lying inside and was pronounced dead on scene.

While it was initially believed that Novak was armed and had fired shots during or before the confrontation, Spokane Police said on Jan. 8 that no gun was recovered from the crime scene. Instead, officers found a bat.

Rankin previously served in the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant, where he flew helicopters, according to the release. As an officer, he received the Army’s Meritorious Service Medal, among other awards.

The Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team said on Jan. 7 that they were investigating the shooting.

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