SPD Sergeant Shot In the Face with a Paintball

Sgt. Terry Preuninger, PIO

Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 4:37 p.m.

A Spokane Police Detective Sergeant is shot in the face with a paintball gun and a real firearm is recovered from his assailant as well as heroin. 

A little after midnight on December 3, 2020 SPD plain clothes detectives were finishing a detail in the area of the Nevada corridor north of North foothills drive.  As one of the detective Sgt’s was getting ready to leave something started striking his car.  Believing he was taking gunfire he exited the car and took cover.  Almost immediately he felt a sharp pain and the impact of something striking his face.  He thought he had just been shot. He then noticed yellow paint on the side of his car and realized his assailant was shooting paintballs.  He called for assistance and began pursuing his assailant who was fleeing in a car.

The car stopped in an alley near Bridgeport and Nevada, the passenger (later identified as Dezmyn Simpson, 25) fled, and the driver David Medina, 24 was eventually taken into custody by the Sgt.

A detective arrived just in time to see Simpson coming from the area of the stopped car, as the event was still unfolding he had not yet confirmed Simpson was involved so he stopped him and began to ask him questions.  Initially Simpson was cooperative sitting on a porch at the detective’s request.  As detectives were still arriving into the area the Sgt could be heard yelling commands in the alley.  One detective stayed with Simpson and one ran to the traffic stop to offer assistance.  Simpson, who had apparently only feigned compliance, took advantage of being left with only one detective, jumped up and ran. 

As he was fleeing he was seen repeatedly reaching for his waist band, one of the detectives in foot pursuit yelled to the other detectives that he was reaching to his waistband and may be armed.  After a short chase he was caught and taken into custody. Officers searched back over the path he had taken as he was running and found a live round, a loaded extended or large capacity pistol magazine and an unloaded firearm (later determined to be stolen) just off the sidewalk where he had been observed reaching into his waistband. It is undetermined, whether he intentionally unloaded the weapon while running or inadvertently ejected the magazine and a live round while trying to load the gun to use it.

As he was being taken into custody Simpson made an unsolicited statement and stated he had “nine points on his felony record.”  Searching him incident to arrest he was found to be in possession of heroin as well.  

A large paintball gun was found lying on the ground on the passenger side of the car right were Simpson had first been observed by the Sgt before he fled. 

Simpson was charged with Assault 3rd degree, 1st degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm and felony possession of a controlled substance.  His local arrest record includes but is not limited to; criminal traffic offences, possession of a controlled substance, making false statements, multiple assaults of different degrees, possession of stolen property and burglary.  He is pictured here.

The Driver of the car, David Medina, 24, was charged with DUI by the Washington State Patrol who responded to assist the SPD Units and he was also charged with 3rd degree assault. 

Two females were also contacted in the area, while they initially lied to police about their relationship with the suspects it was later discovered they did know them however, no connection was made linking them to any of the above listed crimes. 

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