Court Docs: details in murder of Spokane Empire player

Ricky TannerNew court documents released on Thursday detail the events leading up to the fatal shooting of former Spokane Empire player Carl Sims last weekend. 

Sims' girlfriend told investigators while they were at Lucky's Bar she saw someone push Sims so hard he lost his balance. That person was told to leave by bouncers, and Sims and his girlfriend also left. 

Sims' girlfriend said once they were outside she was arguing with the man who pushed Sims and that man then told them he had a gun. The woman says she and Sims walked away. As they turned north on Washington from Sprague, she told detectives she heard a gunshot and Sims told her that he had just been shot. 

Sims was hopping on one leg, bleeding heavily and fell to the ground, according to documents. Officers arrived and began rendering first aid to Sims, who was taken to the hospital. Sims had surgery, was admitted into the ICU, but passed away on Tuesday. 

One witness told investigators he saw two groups in an argument on the corner of Sprague and Washington, then heard someone say "you brought a knife to a gun fight" before he heard "the sound of a semi-automatic firearm being cycled." The witness heard a gun shot, then heard someone say "grab the shell casing." 

Surveillance photographs from Lucky's bar shows a suspect displaying a firearm on two separate occasions. A DOC officer positively identified the suspect as Ricky L. Tanner. 

Court documents show Tanner spoke with detectives and initially denied having a firearm, but then said he had a paint ball gun inside the bar. 

Detectives say they found the same clothing Tanner was wearing in the surveillance photos at one of his residences. A .45 caliber bullet was also seized at the home. 

On Wednesday, Tanner was arrested for second degree murder. 

Tanner's previous criminal record includes pleading guilty to Assault with a Deadly Weapon in 2015, plus multiple arrests for assault in 2013 and a robbery charge in 2013. 

Tanner made his first court appearance on Thursday and his bond was set at $1 million. 

(story:; photo: Spokane County Sheriff's Office)

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