The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office has identified the two deputies that responded to the disorderly person call at Oz Fitness last Thursday evening that resulted in a man being tased.
The deputies are Shawn Audie and Steve Paynter. Audie, a field training officer and defense tactics instructor, has been employed with the sheriff’s office for 12 years and has received 12 letters of commendation.
Deputy Paynter, who has also served as a field training officer, has been employed with the sheriff’s office for 13 years and has received 11 letters of commendation.
Deputies were called to Oz Fitness on the South Hill just after 7 p.m. last Thursday when reports indicated a man was behaving erratically. Witnesses say the man, later identified as Will Berger, was throwing equipment around, mumbling under his breath and using racial slurs.
Deputies were forced to tase Berger, who lost consciousness. He was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced brain dead. Berger died on Friday after his family took him off life support.