Spokane County Deputy Jeff Thurman – a 13-year sheriff’s office veteran and handler of K-9 Laslo – was involved in a shooting incident that occurred near North Barker Road and Cataldo Avenue last Saturday night.
Thurman shot, but did not kill, the unnamed suspect after the man first fired on the officer.
During the Saturday incident, Thurman pulled over a car at approximately 8:30 p.m. at the intersection. The car was driven by a woman, and the suspect and another woman were also inside.
The suspect reportedly gave a false name to Thurman, who told the man to get out of the car. Once he exited, he began to run.
Thurman, Laslo and a backup officer followed. Once the K-9 caught up with the suspect, Thurman approached and the man, who was on the ground, reportedly fired, missing the deputy.
Thurman returned fire, shooting once. The suspect was then taken to Providence Sacred Heart Hospital and listed in stable condition.
The incident continues to be investigated.
Thurman was among six officers – including the recently terminated Brian Hirzel – who fired at and killed an Army veteran in an armed standoff in the area of Spokane Valley Mall last year.
Hirzel was fired by Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich on Jan. 19 after an internal investigation for unauthorized use of a county-owned vehicle. Hirzel had previously been cleared of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of Pastor Wayne Scott Creach on his Plant Farm property in 2010.
Thurman has received numerous commendations for his work with the sheriff’s office over the years.