Prosecutor: Spokane County deputies justified in shooting of armed domestic violence suspect

Kings Apartment Complex

SPOKANE, Wash.– The Prosecutor’s Office said four deputies were justified in their shooting of an armed man in Spokane Valley.

In March 2020, Deputies Timothy Jones, Jesse Depriest, Joseph Reno and Kyle Kullman shot Lanz E. Zeppa while they tried to contact him near the Kings Village Apartments.

Court records show the deputies were first called to a domestic violence incident at the apartment complex. A woman had called 911 saying she and her child were being attacked by her boyfriend, Zeppa, who was intoxicated.

According to court documents, Zeppa was armed with several firearms in the courtyard of the complex and had been ordered several times to drop them. Deputies said he appeared to surrender, but suddenly reached for his waistband and grabbed a pistol. Zeppa reportedly raised the pistol into the air and appeared to be lowering it and pointing it towards the deputies, who then fired their weapons.

Zeppa was treated at the scene and taken to the hospital for his injuries. He was found to be armed with a Ruger .45 caliber semi-auto handgun and three unloaded long-guns, one of which was a shotgun. The Ruger had a round in the chamber and an additional magazine was loaded with five additional .45 caliber rounds of ammunition.

Based on these circumstances, the prosecutor decided the four officers were justified in their actions. Therefore, no criminal charges will be filed against the dpeuties.

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