The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office has determined the two officers who shot and killed Daniel B. Craven near 57th and Mt. Vernon in July were justified in their use of force.
Just after midnight on July 3, Spokane Police were dispatched via a 911 call stating that an armed ex-boyfriend identified as Craven had been near her house and fired a shot. Previous 911 calls had been made concerning Mr. Craven and his ex-girlfriend.
Spokane officers Caleb Martin and Kelsey Scott were first to arrive at the scene. They parked their patrol car several houses down from the house in question and proceeded to the house on foot. When they got near the house, the officers heard a shot and very soon after observed Craven appear from in front of them and on the right. Craven stood in a fighting stance with both his hands holding a black semi-automatic handgun. Officer Scott yelled at Craven to show his hands. Craven ignored the command and maintained a two-handed grip on the handgun.
Both Martin and Scott stated Craven had the gun pointed in their direction. Scott stated that Craven began to raise the gun to a firing position Both officers fired at Craven until he went down. After Craven went to the ground and after backup officers had arrived, Craven was given medical aid and medics took him to Sacred Heart Medical Center where he was treated, but died from his injuries shortly after 2 a.m.
The Prosecutor's Office says that under the circumstances, it was reasonable for the officers to use deadly force because Craven presented serious and immediate danger to the officers. The officers fired in reasonable fear for their safety. There is no indication either of the officers acted out of malice or lacked a good faith belief in the correctness of their actions. Therefore, no criminal liability attaches and no criminal charges will be filed against Officers Martin and/or Scott.
(story: Matt Pusatory, KHQ Local News Web Producer, KHQ.com; photo: Peter Maxwell, KHQ)