Sergeant, deputy cleared in shooting of suspect in Okanogan County

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The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office sergeant and deputy who were involved in the June 3 shooting of a suspect have been cleared and are back at work.

The shooting was deemed justified after investigation by the North Central Washington Special Investigations Unit.

Based on that report, the Okanogan County Prosecutor’s office cleared the men.

The suspect, Lance R. Bowers, 37, was treated at the hospital for a gunshot injury, then taken to jail.

It was the culmination of an odd and tragic set of events.

It began with a call about a car on fire on Frosty Creek Road south of Tonasket. Crews responding to the fire, found the body of a woman in the trunk of the vehicle.

A witness told deputies Bowers had been seen leaving the area.

They later located Bowers near the Aeneas General Store, about two miles away.

When Sgt. Tait Everett and Deputy Isaiah Holloway confronted Bowers, they said he displayed a gun.

Both Everett and Holloway fired at Bowers, with one bullet striking him in the torso.

They were placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting was investigated, a standard procedure.

Investigation into woman’s death continues

The woman found in the trunk of the car has not yet been identified, pending DNA reports.

Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley said the coroner determined the cause of her death but that will not be released until the investigation is completed. Bowers, who remains in jail, is likely to be charged in the death, he said.

Hawley said the Everett and Holloway were placed in an extremely difficult situation.

“The outcome of the investigation is exactly what I expected it to be,” Hawley said in a press release. “These dedicated deputies were in a situation to make a tough decision and they were able to do so in accordance with their training and experience.  I am pleased the investigation shows their decisions made and actions taken were the proper ones for situation.”