Prosecutors release review into deputy shooting

Published On: Dec 11 2012 05:22:19 PM PST   Updated On: Dec 11 2012 06:37:36 PM PST
Deputies Matt Spink and Mike Northway
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The official review into the shooting of two Spokane County Sheriff's deputies this last summer found officers were justified in taking all manner of steps to stop Charles Wallace's flight from justice.

Wallace would have faced a laundry list of charges, including attempted murder, had he not committed suicide at the end of a wild chase out of Spokane on June 19.

On that day, the fugitive task force was looking for him after he walked away from his court ordered drug treatment program. When they felt they had spotted his leaving a Newport Highway motorcycle shop, undercover officers asked a pair of patrol deputies to pull Wallace over.

That's when, according to the report released Tuesday, Wallace jumped out of the SUV, said "OK boys lets go!" and opened fire on Spokane County Sheriff deputies Matt Spink and Mike Northway. Both were hit by Wallace and returned fire on him as he fled the scene.

"Charles Wallace posed an extreme danger to the community. He shot at the initial officers on the traffic stop. He continued to flee to avoid capture," Spokane Police Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said.

 While speeding north on Highway 2, Wallace fired at pursuing Spokane Police officer Tim Madsen. That's why prosecutors feels Deputy Dan Dutton was justified when trying to pit Wallace's stolen getaway car in Riverside, a maneuver he recovered from.

Prosecutors think, given that Wallace had already tried to kill several people, Deputy Shane McClary was also justified at shooting Wallace's car as he sped through Deer Park. Those rounds missed their target, but Wallace didn't miss the spike strips waiting for him at Highway 395.

Wallace crashed his car after hitting the spike strip and, as officers surrounded him, he took the gun he had used to shoot deputies Spink and Northway and shot and killed himself.

Spink and Northway have still not been able to return to duty due to the injuries they received during the June 19 shooting.