Court records: Man shot in the face had approached suspect over slashed tires

Spokane shooting
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SPOKANE, Wash. – A confrontation over slashed tires led to a man getting shot in the face on the lower South Hill, court documents say. 

Gary Lee Cottrill, 65, was arrested for first-degree assault early Thursday morning. 

An affidavit says the victim and his father approached Cottrill to tell him to stop slashing tires. Court records state there were several reports of slashed tires and keyed cars in their neighborhood over the past few days. 

Neighbors identified the suspect in the slashings as a man in his 60s who walked a small, white dog. 

According to court documents, the victim and his father saw Cottrill walking a dog and approached him about the crimes. They told police during this confrontation, Cottrill pulled out a gun and fired, hitting the victim in the jaw. 

Police responded soon thereafter and took Cottrill into custody.

In an interview, Cottrill said he walks his dog three times a day and was confronted by two “meth heads” during an evening walk. He reportedly told police one of them threatened him with a club, so he pulled out a pistol and fired one round before continuing on his walk. 

According to court documents, Cottrill denied ever having damaged anyone’s tires. However, police told him there was surveillance video showing him doing so. 

Cottrill also told police he had been assaulted by the two men the day before. Police asked Cottrill if he had any injuries. Court records state Cottrill pulled up his shirt to expose his chest, but police did not observe any injuries. 

During their interview, police showed Cottrill video taken by the victim’s father. Court records say the video clearly shows Cottrill walking his dog, then stopping and pulling out what appears to be a folding knife, then puncturing the tire of a car. 

Despite this, Cottrill continued to deny any involvement and then told police he would not answer any more questions. 

Cottrill made his first appearance in court Thursday afternoon. His bond was set at $50,000.

READ: Spokane Police: Man shot in the face of lower South Hill sent to hospital