Stevens County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Nick Wolfe fatally wounded John Peterson, 66, at 3675 Deer Creek Road on Saturday, Oct. 19, at about 11 p.m. while responding to a 911 call made by Peterson.
Reserve Deputy Wolfe was on duty with Sheriff’s Deputy Travis Frizzell when they contacted Peterson and, according to preliminary reports, Wolfe fired a single shot resulting in Peterson’s death. Mr. Peterson was still on the phone when the officers contacted him and identified themselves. He apparently failed to follow Deputy Frizzell’s commands and reportedly turned toward Wolfe and pointed a firearm at him. Wolfe, who has been a reserve officer for eight months, reportedly fired a single shot which hit Peterson.
Stevens County District 4 fire and Chewelah Ambulance responded but Peterson was pronounced dead at the scene. Deputy Frizzell has been with the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office for about five years and previously served three years with the Chewelah Police Department.
The incident is being handled as an officer involved shooting and both deputies were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team. According to Sheriff Allen, the deputies were not injured and a firearm was recovered at the scene.
Peterson was a Vietnam veteran who, according to a family member, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and recently moved to the area from Minnesota. His family says he would call 911 when he was upset or depressed.
Frizzell was recently involved in another shooting at a residence on the East Deer Lake Road where he wounded Trinidy C. Lopez, 23, a vehicle prowling suspect. Although Lopez was reportedly shot nine times he recovered from the wounds.
Deputy Frizzell was also involved in the shooting death of a man who had asked for assistance in May of 2006 on the Flowery Trail Road east of Chewelah. At the time of that incident, Frizzell was with the Chewelah Police Department.
County prosecutor Tim Rasmussen was not available for comment on Tuesday but his office indicated that they had not received a report on the incident from the Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team.
By Lew Arnold, The Independent Staff