Court records: Man shot near Deer Park was drinking, pointed handgun toward deputy

August 9, 2018

A man who was shot and killed by a Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy near Deer Park on the afternoon of Aug. 3 was reportedly drinking and driving before he ran from his vehicle, was confronted by law enforcement and grabbed at a handgun tucked inside his waistband.

Josh A. Martin, 31, was drinking heavily minutes before he crashed his truck into a fence in the area of North Sherman Road and West Findley Road at about 4 p.m. Friday, according to a recently filed search warrant. Multiple witnesses described Martin as acting suicidal and agitated before being approached by Spokane County sheriff’s Deputy Dan Middlebos.

Court records say Martin’s “demeanor changed” from that of “defiance to non-approval” as Middlebos moved toward the 31-year-old and a property owner whose fence he had hit while they stood near Martin’s Ford pickup truck.

Witnesses told investigators that as Middlebos approached, he demanded Martin show his hands. Instead, Martin reached behind his back, grabbed a loaded semi-automatic handgun and brought it toward the deputy.

Middleboss fired his handgun three times, striking Martin at least once. The Spokane County Medical Examiner confirmed Tuesday that Martin had died of gunshot wounds.

After executing a search warrant on Martin’s truck Saturday, investigators found two rifles that his girlfriend indicated Martin had planned to sell. They also seized a cell phone and iPod.

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