The Spokane Police Department has released the names of the patrolmen involved in a shooting behind a Sprague Avenue homeless shelter.
The four officers are Holton Widhalm, an 11-year veteran, Michael Schneider, a 9-year veteran, Christopher Conrath, who's been with the police department for three years, and Sergeant Terry Preuninger, a 21-year-veteran on the force.
Not all of the officers who responded to the incident fired their weapons, but all four are on paid administrative leave and are in the process of giving their formal statements to Washington State Patrol detectives investigating this use of force.
The four men were called to the Truth Ministries Thursday night on a person with a weapon call. By the time officers arrived, a shelter guest, Aaron Johnson, was in the back alley and armed with a knife. Police say they deployed a taser in the hopes of getting Johnson on the ground and away from the knife.
When that didn't work and Johnson charged at the officers, two of them opened fire.
"We attempted to use a taser and that individual continued his aggressive behavior toward our officers and they took action they believed was appropriate to protect themselves and the community," Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub said.
Two of these men are so qualified they actually train up other officers in the police department. Preuninger, who did not fire any shots in this incident, was involved in a previous officer involved shooting in 1994.
Johnson is recovering from his wounds and will be charged with assault when he's booked into the Spokane County Jail.