FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
No Criminal Charges in July 2018 Police Shooting
SPOKANE COUNTY, October 26, 2018 – The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office has determined that Spokane County Deputy Sheriff Sam Turner was justified in his use of lethal force against Richard R. Bahr while attempting to contact/arrest Bahr for kidnapping and assault on July 25, 2018.
At approximately 2:00 AM on July 25, 2018, City/County 9-1-1 was notified that a female riding in a white minivan with an individual later identified as Richard Bahr claimed to have been kidnapped and also appeared to have been beaten. The 9-1-1 caller, concerned for the female’s safety, attempted to follow the minivan from the HiCo Mart at 9219 E. Sprague, Spokane Valley, west towards the South Thor area, but lost sight of the vehicle. The minivan bore Idaho license plate #K645123.
Shortly after the call went out, Spokane County Deputy Sheriff Sam Turner located the minivan and followed it southbound on Thor from 2nd Ave. Turner attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle at South Thor and East Hartson and again at E. Hills Court just west of S. Thor. Turner followed the minivan westbound on Hills Court with lights and siren activated. Approximately two blocks west of S. Thor, E. Hills Court becomes a dead end. As Turner approached the dead end, after having briefly lost sight of the minivan, Turner discovered that Bahr had turned the minivan around and was facing
Turner’s patrol vehicle. Bahr then accelerated forward and rammed Turner’s patrol car. When the vehicles came to rest, Turner exited his patrol vehicle and approached Bahr, who was still seated in the driver’s seat of the minivan. Turner ordered Bahr to “Stop and get his hands up” several times. Bahr did not comply, rather, Bahr revved the engine and accelerated forward towards Turner. In fear for his life, Turner yelled “Stop, stop, stop” and fired several shots through the windshield at Bahr. Turner then advanced toward Bahr, took him out of the driver’s seat and laid him on the ground and placed him in handcuffs. Turner, along with other arriving officers, rendered aid to Bahr. Medics were called and pronounced Bahr deceased shortly after their arrival. Bahr’s female passenger was unharmed in the incident.
Under these circumstances, it was reasonable for Deputy Turner to use deadly force. There is no indication Deputy Turner acted out of malice or lacked a good faith belief in the correctness of his actions. Therefore, no criminal liability attaches and no criminal charges will be filed against Deputy Turner.