UPDATE: Vehicle Prowling Suspect Charged with Attempted Murder 1st Degree;
Sheriff Questions Property Crimes Minimized as “Nonviolent”
The 17-year-old juvenile suspect, a convicted felon who pointed a loaded shortened, “pistol grip” style shotgun at a deputy before dropping it and later stated, he “forgot to take the safety off”, has been charged with Attempted Murder 1st Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Possession of an Unlawful Firearm. The second suspect who ran, 22-year-old Ilder E. Vasquez, is currently being held on warrants for Attempted Burglary 2nd Degree and a Washington Department of Corrections Community Custody Hold will face additional charges stemming from this incident.
The Major Crimes investigation into yesterday’s potentially deadly incident, which began as a vehicle prowling, escalated exponentially when one suspect pulled a loaded shortened, “pistol grip” style shotgun and pointed it at a Spokane Valley Deputy as he exited his fully marked patrol vehicle to make contact. The juvenile suspect appeared to slip, didn’t fire the weapon, and eventually was taken into custody while the second suspect, later identified as Vasquez, ran toward the deputy, veered off and bolted across Sprague Avenue.
As the juvenile suspect who had the shotgun was taken into custody, the deputy told an assisting deputy, “He tried to shoot me.” Just after the deputy completed this statement, the suspect interjected, “I forgot to take the safety off.” The suspect was belligerent calling the deputies “F-ing Pigs” (edited) and stated during an interview, after he was advised of his rights, he didn’t like cops, he did not speak “Pig Latin” and cops are “F-ing corrupt” (edited).
Vasquez was located a short time later hiding inside a building on Cannery Road, south of the scene. Deputy Pfeifer, his K9 partner Enzo and citizens in the area assisted additional deputies with locating Vasquez who was taken into custody without further incident.
Sheriff Knezovich, after being briefed on the details of this incident, stated, “Tell me again how property crimes are non-violent. I am so tired of listening to elected officials in our community tell people property crimes are non-violent in order to justify not fixing our criminal justice system and our jail, or holding these offenders accountable. Fail to deal with the small crimes and they will result in larger crimes.”
He went on to say, “Just because violence wasn’t used during a crime does not mean there isn’t a high potential for violence to happen. These habitual offenders continue to victimize our community knowing that they will not be held accountable. We were lucky today; these “non-violent property offenders” didn’t kill our deputy, not because they didn’t try, but because he couldn’t get his gun to fire. The deputy and his family had an angel sitting on his shoulder today.”
The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office has declined to prosecute the suspect as a juvenile and will charge him as an adult.