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Deputies remain in hospital recovering from gunshot wounds

Posted 6/20/2012 7:44 PM by MDGREGORY

Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team Release

Yesterday afternoon, two Spokane County Deputies were transported to a local hospital after a suspect; Charles R. Wallace, fired upon them. Regional law enforcement officers converged on the area and within an hour, Wallace had been located. Wallace died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Details: Yesterday afternoon, June 19, 2012, Spokane Regional Drug Task Force detectives located a wanted subject; Charles R. Wallace (5/8/71). Detectives requested the assistance of two Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies in order to conduct a traffic stop near Elm St. and Newport Highway.

As soon as the SUV stopped, Wallace, sitting in the front passenger seat, jumped out and began firing upon deputies. Even though both deputies sustained gunshot wounds, they were able to return fire. The driver of the SUV sped away from the scene with a female and child in the back seat. The vehicle was located at Division and Graves, unoccupied. Wallace fled on foot towards 9800 N. Andrews.

“Good Samaritans” provided immediate medical aid to the fallen deputies until medical personnel could arrive.

Wallace was seen entering a vacant home, armed with a handgun, possibly searching for a getaway vehicle. Wallace kicked in the back door of a residence on Andrews, and confronted an 85 year old woman. He threatened her with his handgun, demanding her car keys. While the woman provided the keys to her black Honda Accord. As the suspect fled out the front door, the victim’s screams alerted neighbors. When neighbors attempted to approach the suspect, he threatened them with the handgun and fled in the Honda Accord.

As law enforcement flooded the area searching for the Honda Accord, witnesses were calling in possible sightings. An SPD Detective observed Wallace driving the Honda on Big Meadows Road. When Wallace approached the detective, he fired at the officer but missed. Wallace continued to exhibit extremely dangerous behavior, having no regard for the safety of citizens and law enforcement alike. He appeared to be very determined to avoid apprehension, while being aware that he was a wanted felon. Wallace’s actions dictated law enforcement response for the safety of the community.

As officers continued to pursue Wallace, Air One provided updated locations and information. Citizens yielded to the numerous law enforcement officers actively attempting to stop Wallace, which was critical to officer response. When Wallace entered Deer Park, a SCSO Detective fired at the suspect in an effort to stop the suspect’s threat to the community. Spike strips were deployed by nearby officers, in order to disable Wallace’s vehicle. Wallace continued driving the car with malfunctioning tires. Ultimately, Wallace’s car struck a guard rail where he committed suicide by a single gunshot wound to the head.

The two injured deputies remain in the hospital receiving treatment. Deputy Matt Spink suffered a single gunshot wound in the leg, and remains in the hospital. Deputy Mike Northway suffered gunshot wounds to each arm and his leg. The most serious injury is to his left arm, where the bullet destroyed an artery causing significant blood loss. Deputy Northway has undergone several surgeries and remains in ICU.

The Spokane County Chaplains are encouraging citizens wishing to donate blood for Deputy Northway. Please donate blood to account #8675 at the Inland Northwest Blood Center, 210 W. Cataldo.

Deputy Matt Spink has been with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office since 1999. The majority of his career has been assigned to the North District as a patrol deputy. For the past 6 years, he has worked in the same platoon as Deputy Northway.

Deputy Mike Northway began as a Corrections Deputy with Spokane County in February 1996. He moved to patrol in May of 1999.

As a reminder, if anyone who may have witnessed something, or has information for the investigation is asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233.

The Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team protocol was activated to investigate this event. The team is comprised of members of the Spokane Police Department, the Washington State Patrol and the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.