Victim Stabbed During Family Argument
Spokane Valley Patrol Deputies responded to a family dispute that turned violent, sending the victim to the hospital with an apparent life-threatening stab wound to the chest. The suspect fled the scene but returned and was arrested. The victim’s sister was extremely uncooperative with arriving Deputies, even as they tried to provide life-saving medical aid to the victim. She was later arrested after she hit one of the Deputies and continued to obstruct the investigation.
On July 2, 2020, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to a reported stabbing at an apartment in the area of the 2800 block of N. Cherry St., in Spokane Valley.
Arriving Deputies contacted 48-year-old Gretchen M. Wright and the 45-year-old female victim. They were told the suspect, 22-year-old Devin R. Dewmer, left the area before Deputies arrived.
Gretchen was extremely agitated and verbally aggressive toward call takers, and arriving Deputies. She threatened to kill cops if anyone injured the suspect, and she planned to sue.
When Deputy Wallace arrived, Gretchen continued screaming, “You (expletive) cops are not going in my house!” Knowing the victim was inside, had been stabbed in the chest near her heart with a knife, and was in desperate need of life-saving medical assistance, Deputy Wallace and Deputy Turner entered the apartment through the unlocked door.
The victim was found sitting on the floor, with blood pooling in her lap. Recognizing the victim’s life was in danger, Deputy Turner retrieved his SWAT Medic bag from his patrol car, and they provided vital life-saving medical care.
As they did, Gretchen charged toward them with her fists clenched, yelling, “Get the (expletive) out!” Verbal commands for Gretchen to stop and to get back were not effective. Deputy Wallace, who was applying direct pressure to the wound to try and control the bleeding, momentarily released pressure to address the impending attack but noticed dark red blood began to flow rapidly from the wound. He quickly reapplied pressure, risking his safety, and braced to withstand being hit as he again told Gretchen to stop and that they were trying to save the victim’s life. Deputy Turner and Deputy Wallace were extremely concerned for the victim, recognizing her condition was grave.
Gretchen pushed past and continued yelling the Deputies were “evil goons with guns”, “murderous pigs” and “armed thugs”. Hearing the Deputies talk about a large knife sitting by them, Gretchen started to move aggressively toward it. Orders telling her to stop and get away were effective, and she reluctantly backed away.
The Deputies noticed a small child was now with Gretchen. They told Gretchen to take the child, who appeared to be very scared, out of the room. Her only response was to continue her verbal attacks. She yelled, “These are bad guys, evil men!” and told the child he needed to hide because the “goon squad” was there with guns, and it wasn’t safe.
Fire and medical personnel arrived and took over the care and treatment of the victim. She was transported to the hospital for continued care.
Gretchen stood in the bathroom with the child and continued her hate-filled rant. One of the firefighters attempted to talk with Gretchen to obtain needed and vital medical information regarding the victim. But Gretchen would not relent and would not answer the much needed medical questions.
Deputy Wallace heard Deputies request assistance in the parking lot because Devin had returned, and he went out to help. Deputy Wallace talked with Devin and began to de-escalate the intense situation. Devin eventually complied, followed commands, and was safely taken into custody.
Deputy Wallace returned to assist Deputy Turner with Gretchen and ensure the child’s safety. Attempts to listen, empathize, and de-escalate this volatile situation were ineffective. Fearing for the child’s safety with Gretchen’s aggression increasing, Deputy Wallace quickly placed himself between Gretchen and the child as he attempted to take control of Gretchen. She responded by striking the Deputy. As additional Deputies attempted to help gain control of Gretchen, Deputy Blaakman grabbed the child and handed him off to Deputy Schmidt, who brought the child to a safe location.
After a struggle where Gretchen tried to kick, bite and hit Deputies, OC spray was used, and Gretchen was subdued. She was provided medical attention before being transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Assault 3rd Degree and Obstructing an Investigation. She was released the next day on her own recognizance.
Major Crimes Detectives and members of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Forensic Unit responded to continue the investigation and process the scene for evidence.
Devin was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Assault 1st Degree. He remains in custody with his bond set at $150,000.
The victim remains hospitalized and is listed in satisfactory condition.