Julie Humphreys, Public Safety Communication Manager, 509.625.5868
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 4:03 p.m.
Memorial to be dedicated to SPD officer shot and killed in the line of duty on the anniversary of his death 38 years ago
Officer Brian Orchard along with other SPD officers were conducting an undercover stakeout in July of 1983 attempting to apprehend thieves who had stolen a valuable collection of guns. The suspects were trying to ransom the guns to the owner for $20,000. The suspect vehicle with two occupants pulled up to the curb in the stakeout area and Det. Orchard and another officer approached the car. Orchard was on the driver’s side. One of the men in the vehicle fired a shot striking Orchard in the head. He was rushed to surgery in critical condition, the bullet could not be removed and he died two days later on July 20, 1983. The suspects were caught, tried, and convicted of murder.
Brian Orchard was a young officer with three children when he was killed. Two of his children and other family members will join SPD, Honor Guard members, Mayor Woodward, and others as a memorial sign in Orchards honor is placed at the scene of the killing at 5th and Pine Street in downtown Spokane. The ceremony is put on by the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Project and sponsored by the Spokane Regional Law Enforcement Museum.
Orchard’s death was the impetus for the LE Officers Memorial Project. Because of his death a committee was established to design a memorial for fallen officers. In 1987 the memorial was unveiled behind the Spokane Courthouse. It was the first LE Memorial in the state of Washington and remained at the Courthouse location until 2007 when it was replaced by the current LE Memorial on the Public Safety Building campus.