No charges against Spokane Police in fatal shooting

No charges against Spokane Police in fatal shooting

The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office will not charge two Spokane Police officers who shot and killed a man in the parking lot of a north Spokane Walmart.

Prosecutors determined Officers Ryan Smith and Darrell Quarles were justified in their use of deadly force against Chad K. Cochell on October 4th, 2017.

Police had been looking for a vehicle they suspected was connected to a carjacking two days earlier. In that case, someone had been shot twice and the vehicle was reported stolen. According to Spokane Police, the victim in that case, Kerry L. Arnold, has since died from those injuries.

(NOTE: The day after Spokane County released this information, they corrected it, saying Arnold did not actually die from his injuries.)

On October 4th, police spotted the vehicle in the parking lot of the Walmart in the Shadle Park area of North Spokane.

“Due to the circumstances in which the vehicle was taken, police developed a plan to block the Expedition’s path to minimize the likelihood of an escape, which could lead to a dangerous high-speed chase,” Spokane County said in a news release sent Monday.

The county said the driver of the vehicle, identified as Cochell, “moved forward with the engine operating at a high RPM and made contact with a police vehicle that was directly in front of it.” The county said officers were concerned the driver was trying to escape and that “this would have put both officers and the many civilians in the parking lot at great risk.”

Officers approached the SUV and saw Cochell was “moving around in the vehicle, had a firearm in his hand and pointed at his head.”

According to the county release, Cochell ignored their commands to drop the gun and that “based on the threat of immediate danger to officers and the public should the suspect turn the gun and fire out the passenger side and the extreme [sic] short amount of time it would have taken to do so, Officer Smith fired his patrol rifle at Cochell one time and Officer Quarles fired his shotgun twice.”

Cochell died at the scene.

According to the county, “Cochell presented a serious and immediate threat to officers and shoppers on scene and to the general public should he escape. There is no indication either Officer Smith or Officer Quarles acted out of malice or lacked a good faith belief in the correctness of their actions.”