A man who served as a Cathedral City police officer for 13 years is under investigation for the deadly shooting of a Spokane, Wash., nursery while on duty there.
Investigators said Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Hirzel was responding to a prowling report in Spokane Valley and parked his patrol car in the parking lot of the Plant Farm, a local nursery.
The store’s owner, Wayne Scott Creach, who is also a local pastor, came outside to see who had parked in his parking lot, according to his wife, and got into an argument with the deputy.
His wife told investigators she heard a scuffle outside and finally a gunshot.
Hirzel’s firearm had been fired, according to sheriff’s investigators, and Creach later died from his injuries.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that Creach, who suffered from diabetes, may have been experiencing a medical problem that left him disoriented at the time of the shooting.
Hirzel has told detectives he is ready to explain what happened and that series of interviews that can include a polygraph test.
Deputy Hirzel is a two-year veteran of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, and he is currently serving as an officer with the Spokane Valley Police Department.
Prior to serving with the sheriff’s office Hirzel was a deputy with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office in Idaho and spent 13 years as a police officer in Cathedral City, California.