Spokane Police to brief media on January shooting of unarmed man

Spokane Police to brief media on January shooting of unarmed man

Spokane Police Department is holding a presentation Friday regarding the shooting of an unarmed man at the beginning of the year.

This follows the decision in late August to not charge Officer Brandon Rankin in the shooting death of David M. Novak on January 7, 2019 in the 600 block of West Montgomery Avenue.

RELATED: Spokane police officer shoots, kills man who was reportedly firing at neighbors

On January 7, a neighbor called 911 to report that Novak was intoxicated, shooting at him and yelling racial slurs. Officer Rankin and others responded to the scene, and reported seeing smoke and hearing gunshots.

The officers tried to contact Novak and tell him to stand down, but he walked into a house with a long object. Officers believed he was armed, and Officer Rankin fatally shot Novak, fearing for his safety. They later explained that if Novak was potentially armed with a rifle or a shotgun, he would have tactical advantage over the officers based on his positioning in the house.

Police never found a gun on the scene, but did recover a baseball bat.

Earlier in the year, an SPD spokeswoman said the body-cam footage would be released after the investigation was complete.

RELATED: ‘See you in court’: Family of man killed by SPD reacts to decision not to charge officer