Audio from police radio gives new perspective on officer-involved shooting

At 10:24 p.m. on Monday night, Spokane Police officers rushed to David Novak’s home on West Montgomery.

“620 W Montgomery, complainant says his neighbor is shooting at him,” a clip from police radio says. “Can we work on what neighbor, what direction it’s coming from?”

Novak’s neighbor had just called 911, telling dispatchers he’s shooting at her and other people inside their house. Police were on the scene within minutes, and one officer reported hearing a gunshot as well.

“Sounds like a pump shotgun or something like that,” the police radio says.

Moments later, an officer shot Novak.

“Blue house, second to the south,” the police audio said. “Shot fired by us, everybody is okay so far.”

Police then lost sight of him, and weren’t sure if he’d been hit.

“The suspect is going to be the second house in, from the southeast corner,” the police audio said. “Unknown if he is down. We can’t see him.”

“[Inaudible] he walk inside the house, not sure if he dropped it,” the police audio said. “Couldn’t see. He fired a shot for sure I saw smoke over by the house.”

But investigators didn’t find a weapon at the scene — only a metal bat. Which police believe Novak was using to hit a white pickup truck in his driveway.

“Standby, they’re assessing him right now,” the police audio said.

Police and paramedics attempted life-saving measures, but Novak died at the scene.

One neighbor describes Novak as a bachelor who usually kept to himself.

Neighbors who called police Monday night said Novak was intoxicated, used racial slurs and stated several times that he was a KKK member. Those neighbors also told police that Novak threatened to shoot and kill them.

Spokane Police have not released the names of the officers involved in the incident. Independent law enforcement agencies are now investigating the shooting. Once complete, the case will be forwarded to the Spokane County Prosecutors Office.

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