SPD releases names of officers involved in January 17 shooting

Monique Cotton, Police Communications Director, 509.363.8285

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 11 a.m.

The Spokane Police Department is releasing the names of the officers involved in the shooting incident that occurred on January 17th at approximately 9:00 p.m. at Truth Ministries (1900 block of E. Sprague).

The four officers have more than three decades of combined experience with the Spokane Police Department and currently work on Patrol.

The names of all four officers involved in response to the initial shooting incident are being named. Not all of these officers fired shots.

Ofc. Holton Widhalm: 6 year SPD veteran and Field Training Officer (FTO)

  • Received the Lifesaving Award in 2009 for his quick response and work to get a suicidal woman down from the Monroe Street Bridge.
  • Received the Lifesaving Award in 2011 for his quick response and work to resuscitate a person who had attempted to commit suicide.
  • Received the Employee of the Month Award in 2011 for his work on Patrol.
  • Received Commendations in 2008, 2009 and 2011 for assisting in the location of a stolen vehicle, his response to an armed suspect on the Gonzaga Campus, and his assistance in Possession of Stolen Property, Forgery, and Theft investigation.
  • Served as an Eastern Washington University police officer from 2002 – 2007.

Ofc. Michael Schneider: 6 year SPD veteran and member of Tactical Team (TAC)

  • Received Commendations in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 for his prompt and professional response to a Burglary incident, his assistance during a citizen ride-along, his assistance in aiding the family of a Spokane Valley murder victim, his assistance in providing testimony in a court case, his response and teamwork in a homicide investigation, and his calm and prompt response to a citizen report of a male making threats.
  • Graduated from the Spokane Police Academy in 2004. Worked as a law enforcement officer for the Washington State Gambling Commission from 2004 – 2007.

Ofc. Christopher Conrath: 3 year SPD veteran and member of Tactical Team (TAC)

  • Received Commendations in 2010, 2011 and 2013 for his detailed report writing and assistance to the Prosecutor’s Office, his response and work to de-escalate a potentially violent citizen dispute, and for his professional and compassionate response to a DUI incident involving injuries to four children.
  • Served as SPD Reserve Officer from May 2008 – June 2010. He is currently a mentor for our Reserve, Co-op and Explorer volunteer programs.

Sgt. Terry Preuninger: 21 year SPD veteran and member of SWAT

  • Received the Lifesaving Award in 2011 for his communication with and ultimate rescue of a suicidal female on the Monroe Street Bridge.
  • Received the Medal of Merit in 2010 for his dedication to a number of SPD programs (SWAT, Reserves, Co-Ops, Workplace Violence Prevention Training, etc.).
  • Received the Chief’s Citation Award in 2004 for his work on the SWAT Team.
  • Received Commendations in 1994 (x4), 1995, 1996, 1997 (x3), 1998, 1999 (x2), 2000, 2001 (x2), 2002 (x3), 2003 (x2), 2004 (x4), 2006 (x3), 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 (x4), 2011 (x2) for excellence in SWAT, TAC and Workplace Violence Prevention Training, His assistance in the execution of a search warrant in a fraud investigation, his quick response to a pharmacy robbery incident, his de-escalation of a hostile burglary suspect, his assistance in the arrest of a Minnesota fugitive, his professionalism in responding to a call with a barricaded subject, his assistance in the peaceful execution of a high risk search warrant, his kindness and empathy in responding to a murder/suicide incident, his response and subsequent arrest of a suspect in a burglary in progress call, his assistance in the arrest of a felon in possession of a firearm suspect, his professional and compassionate response to a shooting incident, and his professional and strategic response to a report of a man with a gun who was making threats to kill.
  • Sgt. Preuninger has been involved in one other Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) incident in 1994, involving a domestic violence call, with a female armed with a gun. When she aimed at officers, officers fired shots. After an investigation into this incident, the use of deadly force was determined to be justified by the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office.

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