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The original item was published from 5/29/2019 9:52:22 AM to 6/13/2019 12:00:01 AM.

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Sheriff's Office

Posted on: May 29, 2019

[ARCHIVED] No Criminal Charges in January 2019 Police Shooting

SpokaneCountyWebley


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

No Criminal Charges in January 2019 Police Shooting 

SPOKANE COUNTY, May 28, 2019 – The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office has determined that Spokane Police (SPD) Officers Tyler Fisher and Jordan Orrell were justified in their use of lethal force against Dwight D. Steward while attempting to contact/detain Steward, who was rapidly approaching and was within mere feet of the officers while wielding a large knife in each of his hands and ignoring multiple commands to drop them.

At approximately 3:36 PM on January 23, 2019, 9-1-1 received a phone call that a male had pulled a gun on the complainant/caller and his friend in the vicinity of Andy’s Market, 3004 N. Monroe St. near W. Fairview Ave., in Spokane. The male was described as black, in his 40’s, wearing a beanie cap, black trench coat, and a maroon shirt. The gun was described as a handgun with a black barrel, but the complainant stated he did not see much of it. The complainant added that the gun would be in the male’s backside waistband.

Numerous SPD officers responded to the call. When police units arrived, a male matching the broadcasted description (later identified as Dwight D. Steward) was located on the east side of Andy’s Market. Steward had positioned himself at the market

No Criminal Charges in January 2019 Police Shooting 

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entrance, facing the parking lot. Initially, it appeared that Steward would be cooperative with police, but the situation changed abruptly when Steward proceeded to the middle of the parking lot as he drew two large knives and held one in each of his hands. Multiple officers gave numerous commands to Steward to drop the knives. Steward neither dropped the knives nor did he acknowledge or speak to the police at any time. After pausing briefly while facing officers positioned at the south of the parking lot, Steward abruptly turned and walked toward officers positioned to the north. As Steward approached, officers continued to order Steward to drop the knives. Steward continued to ignore officers’ commands. As Steward got to within a few feet of Fisher’s and Orrell’s position, and in fear of their lives, both fired at Steward. Steward went to the ground; knives still in his hands. A team of officers approached Steward and, once officer safety was assured, began to render emergency medical assistance until Fire Dept. medics arrived. Steward was pronounced deceased at the scene.

In the subsequent investigation, it was learned that Steward was in possession of numerous additional knives, but no gun was found.

Under these circumstances, it was reasonable for the officers to use deadly force. The involved officers had both a subjective and an objective good faith belief in the correctness of their actions.
Therefore, no criminal liability attaches and no criminal charges will be filed in this matter.

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