As a Precaution, Two Schools Placed on Lockdown while Fleeing Vehicle Theft Suspect Located
This morning, a suspect of a vehicle theft fled after he was caught in the act by the victim. After a physical fight, the suspect went to the office of a nearby school and asked to use the phone and then left. Responding Deputies flooded the area to search for the suspect and contacted officials at the two schools. As a precaution, officials placed both schools in lockdown to ensure the safety of students and staff. Deputies quickly located and arrested the suspect a short distance away.
On February 4, 2020, at approximately 8:00 a.m., a male reported he caught a suspect trying to steal his truck from in front of his home located near the intersection of 8th and Farr Road. The victim explained the suspect, later identified as 26-year-old Corey M. Munnerlyn, was last seen going south on Felts Road.
Deputies contacted the victim near 8th and Felts. He stated he was warming his truck up and loading it with tools. He went back inside his home for less than 5 minutes, and when he came out, he noticed the engine sounded different, and the steering wheel moved, but he did not see anyone inside. He approached his truck from the rear, and Munnerlyn accelerated rapidly, driving south on Felts. The victim ran after his stolen vehicle and jumped in the bed after Munnerlyn turned east on 8th Ave. The victim punched the rear window, attempting to break it, and stop Munnerlyn. Eventually, it broke, and he entered the cab of the truck. Munnerlyn stopped, put the vehicle in park, exited, and began to walk away.
The victim grabbed Munnerlyn to hold him until Deputies arrived, but Munnerlyn “freaked out”. Munnerlyn walked away, and the victim followed. Munnerlyn turned, displayed a pocket knife and swiped it, slashing the victim’s hand. Undeterred, the victim said he was ready to fight. Munnerlyn put the knife away, and they both exchanged punches during a physical fight, which ended with Munnerlyn running away.
Deputies spoke to a witness who observed part of the incident and corroborated most of the victim’s account.
After being advised of his rights, Munnerlyn initially told Deputies he was walking when the driver of a truck pulled up and “freaked out”. He tried to calm the driver down, but that only intensified the driver’s anger. Munnerlyn wasn’t sure why the driver was upset, but it was possibly because he cut in front of the truck. During the interview, Munnerlyn’s version changed, but he admitted to fighting with the victim (driver) and pulling out a pocket knife after the victim pulled one out first. He eventually got away and went into the office at Valley Cristian School to use the phone to call the police. Afterward, he walked away until Deputies contacted him. A small pocket knife (3” blade) was found during a search of Munnerlyn, after his arrest.
As Deputies arrived in the area, they contacted officials at Valley Christian and Horizon Middle School, who promptly placed the schools on lockdown for the safety of students and staff. The schools remained on lockdown for approximately 5 minutes until they were advised Munnerlyn was in custody.
The victim sought medical attention for a possible broken hand from punching the window.
Munnerlyn was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Theft of a Motor Vehicle and Assault 2nd Degree.