SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - As officers continue to investigate what led a Spokane County Sheriff's deputy to shoot a man Saturday near an apartment complex, neighbors are still unsettled by what happened just yards away from their homes.
"It's terrifying. And that's our backyard," said neighbor Crystal Runions. "What if my youngest had said, 'hey, can I go out with my friends and play with my Nerf guns?' and they were just running around and one of those bullets went stray and took our one of our kids?"
Deputies say they responded to a call from the Parkside at Mirabeau Apartments Saturday night about a man who appeared to be high bothering kids. They say when they approached the man, now identified by the Spokane County Medical Examiner as 25-year-old Ethan Murray, he ran through a fence towards a nearby homeless camp behind the apartment complex. Deputies say Murray threatened them and said he had something in his pocket, so they shot him.
"There were people everywhere! It was a Saturday afternoon and you're between an apartment complex, well several apartment complexes, and a park," Runions said. "Why wasn't a taser used?"
Neighbors say this is an upsetting chapter in an equally upsetting year at the apartment complex.
"There are quite a bit that come through that are unsavory, per se, people I don't want around my pregnant wife, my child, and you know, I have a four and a half year old son I can't let out alone," said neighbor Scott Widmayer, who added he's trying to move out. "I mean, I've heard gunshots, everything like that in the area, in the past year and it's hard on us, on a family."
Runions said in the last year, she's made several calls to Crime Check about the homeless camp near her apartment but hasn't gotten a response. While it's not clear if Murray lived at the camp, Runions said she believes if officers had come to check it out sooner, this could have been avoided.
"I'm not as stupid and blind as to think, this is just, 'oh, poor us living here,' no. This whole situation sucks," she said. "For them, for us, for the person that was killed, for whoever loved that person. And especially that deputy that had to pull that trigger, because it shouldn't have come to that."
Investigators have not confirmed if there was a weapon found at the scene of the shooting.
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