Prosecutor says two Spokane officers were justified in fatal January shooting

May 29, 2019

The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office says two Spokane police officers were justified when they shot and killed a 46-year-old man who approached them while holding two knives.

Officers Tyler Fisher and Jordan Orrell shot Dwight D. Steward on the afternoon of Jan. 23 in the parking lot of Andy’s Market, 3004 N. Monroe St., after a man called 911 saying Steward had threatened him with a gun.

Steward was at the market entrance, facing the parking lot, when numerous officers arrived, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement Tuesday. He then walked toward the middle of the lot and drew two large knives from his waistband, one in each hand.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Steward said nothing and ignored commands to drop the weapons as he walked toward Fisher and Orrell’s position. The officers shot him when he got “within a few feet” of them, the prosecutor’s office said. He was struck multiple times, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Steward had no gun, as the 911 caller had reported. But court records indicated he was in possession of six knives and a machete.

Steward had spent years in prison for rape, robbery, burglary and assault in Grant County. He was released in 2011 and registered as a level-three sex offender.

Fisher joined the Spokane Police Department in 2014 after four years as a deputy with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona. He also served four years in the Army, including one tour in Iraq.

Orrell joined the department in April 2018 after 11 years with the Wenatchee Police Department.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.