Deputy In Fatal Nursery Owner Shooting Will Not Be Charged

Deputy In Fatal Nursery Owner Shooting Will Not Be Charged

Deputy In Fatal Nursery Owner Shooting Will Not Be Charged

Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker announced Friday he would not press charges against Deputy Brian Hirzel in the shooting death of The Plant Farm owner Wayne Scott Creach.

Creach, 74, was shot and killed Aug. 25 after a brief confrontation with Hirzel just before midnight in the parking lot of his retail store and greenhouse in Spokane Valley, Wash. Creach’s son, Alan Creach, told Today’s Garden Center Monday there are serious implications for nursery operators coming out of this decision.

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“This is an absolute atrocity, and I want the nation to know it,” the younger Creach says. “I think about all the people in the garden center industry that are like us, a homegrown business where the property (a home) is on the business.”

No one from the sheriff’s department had asked for permission to be in the parking lot of the business, he adds. “We’re still trying to find the facts out. It’s not just the community that’s outraged; it’s everybody who think ‘This could have been me.'”

He noted the family home was about 100 feet away from the parking lot, where around 11 p.m. Aug. 25, his father heard a car pull in despite being closed. Wayne Scott Creach got out of bed and, with a handgun and flashlight, went to investigate the dark, unmarked car in the parking lot.

Based on a detailed account Hirzel gave investigators, the deputy had parked in the lot after hours in response to a neighbor’s request earlier in the day for additional patrols. He was doing paperwork when Creach approached his unmarked vehicle. The deputy told investigators he pulled his gun, pointed it at Creach and told him to “drop the weapon.”

It’s here that Alan Creach says the evidence is conflicting. Hirzel told investigators he conversed with the elder Creach, who told him people had stolen from him before. Hirzel says he called for backup and got out of the car, ordering Creach to the ground. He says Creach refused so he hit Creach in the knee with his baton. After Creach steadied himself he began to reach behind him, according to Hirzel’s version, so Hirzel drew his weapon and fired.

However, the Washington State Patrol does not support the assertion that there was a baton strike, and Alan Creach points to autopsy results that show a wound that may indicate his father was not face to face with the deputy. He also says his mother–who was in the house at the time–nor any of the other ear witnesses who heard the gunshot, heard the conversation Hirzel claims prior to the shot.

Alan Creach says it is with discrepencies in timing and in the deputy’s account to which he and his family take exception. But most of all, he says the bigger issue is safety of business owners on their own property and their right to carry a weapon. “Where this whole thing is going we have a police state where private property is no longer being respected,” he says. “(Some) nursery owners probably would go out if they saw a similar situation with a weapon on their person. They have to have the realization that if they have it on their person and it’s a police officer, they could be shot and killed.”

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Anonymous says:

It is a tragic situation when a property owner can not defend his propery. This officer commited a felony by gunning down the owner on his own property. He should have identified himself and shown his badge befor pulling his gun.

Anonymous says:

My husband and I own a nursery/garden center in a small town and we live on the property. We do not have gates (yet) across the drives, but hopefully will. We have had times when people come on the property and park in the lot. Yes, my husband has gone to investigate and yes, he is armed when he goes. We have had equipment stolen ( a truck with our business name on it one time and a goose neck trailor.) We have also had smaller items stolen. If there is an unmarked vehicle on our property they better expect to be questioned with a pistol. Although we are surrounded by the city, we are in the county and usually it takes quite a while to get a sheriff’s depuity to respond. We take care of ourselves here and most of the police know that. What a terrible loss for the Creach family.

Anonymous says:

we had an inexperienced caretaker at the nursery here in Florida …couple of hooligans were vandalizing our property….the caretaker we had over the weekend discharged a shotgun in the air to scare them off the Nursery…apparently these punks convinced the sheriffs SWAT team to raid the property in the middle of the night on a Sunday claiming the caretaker threatened them..Sheriffs waited on the nursery 14 hours until a judge signed a search warrant ..this is after they entered the property …trashed the place, took all the companies guns,handcuffed this caretaker. cut open the fence and gates and let the horses out….then seized & impounded the guard dogs….this temp caretaker got 3 years for discharging a shotgun on our nursery farm/ the nursery is 10 miles from the closest village/20 miles to a city/a mile to the closest neighbor..yet they brought a sheriffs helicopter and 6 SWAT officers & 3 patrol cars
no wonder this country is in debt…now this will cost taxpayers 40K per year to keep this kid in prison….without a doubt a police state/country..

Anonymous says:

I agree completely with the above comments on the police state being alive and well here in the Home of the Brave/Land of the Slaves. There is no doubt that the cops are totally out of control.
It is not supprising that this policeman got off for killing the owner of The Plant Farm. The police today most certainly have a lisence to kill. Everyone should be careful whenever dealing with the police. They are afraid of the people (who they love to refer to as “civilians”) and we all must take care when dealing with the hired guns of the Police State.
If you have any doubt about the existing Police State just look around and start counting the cameras at the intersections and on the interstates. The USA is looking more and more like the old USSR, China and Nazi Germany every day!
Wake up America our beloved country is in serious trouble!!!!!!!

Anonymous says:

I agree with you. I have been in this field for over 30 years, for part of that time, I was one of the calls on the alarm system. The place was isolated, and as such a hangout for local youth. I never knew what or who I would encounter when I responded to a call from the Sense-A-Phone. We did have kids inside the place on a number of occasions, throw plants around, turn the boilers off, go through the desk, file cabinets, fire extinguishers and such. I am sure you know the drill. On one hand you want to bring a fire arm for your own safety, yet, you will end up the one in the hot seat, and the punks who wreck the place go home to mommy and daddy who will swear that Jr. is a angel and choirboy. No wonder our once great nation is where it is now…..

Anonymous says:

Thank you for running this article and remembering my Dad as part of the “Greenhouse Community”. We grew up with issues of Greenhouse Grower scattered throughout our house. My Dad loved his work and we are thankful that the growing community cares for and remembers him.

Anonymous says:

Thanks for keeping the industry informed on ALL aspects pertinent. No doubt this is a horrible tragedy and ABSOLUTELY should not have happened, but instead complaining about how our great country (and the USA is GREAT) is going down, we ALL should be putting forth our best efforts to change that attitude. Nothing worth something ever comes easily, if we want to make change occur, it will be up to us to make it happen!
My deepest sympathies go out to the family, not to much else can be said.

Anonymous says:

It is a tragic situation when a property owner can not defend his propery. This officer commited a felony by gunning down the owner on his own property. He should have identified himself and shown his badge befor pulling his gun.

Anonymous says:

My husband and I own a nursery/garden center in a small town and we live on the property. We do not have gates (yet) across the drives, but hopefully will. We have had times when people come on the property and park in the lot. Yes, my husband has gone to investigate and yes, he is armed when he goes. We have had equipment stolen ( a truck with our business name on it one time and a goose neck trailor.) We have also had smaller items stolen. If there is an unmarked vehicle on our property they better expect to be questioned with a pistol. Although we are surrounded by the city, we are in the county and usually it takes quite a while to get a sheriff’s depuity to respond. We take care of ourselves here and most of the police know that. What a terrible loss for the Creach family.

Anonymous says:

we had an inexperienced caretaker at the nursery here in Florida …couple of hooligans were vandalizing our property….the caretaker we had over the weekend discharged a shotgun in the air to scare them off the Nursery…apparently these punks convinced the sheriffs SWAT team to raid the property in the middle of the night on a Sunday claiming the caretaker threatened them..Sheriffs waited on the nursery 14 hours until a judge signed a search warrant ..this is after they entered the property …trashed the place, took all the companies guns,handcuffed this caretaker. cut open the fence and gates and let the horses out….then seized & impounded the guard dogs….this temp caretaker got 3 years for discharging a shotgun on our nursery farm/ the nursery is 10 miles from the closest village/20 miles to a city/a mile to the closest neighbor..yet they brought a sheriffs helicopter and 6 SWAT officers & 3 patrol cars
no wonder this country is in debt…now this will cost taxpayers 40K per year to keep this kid in prison….without a doubt a police state/country..

Anonymous says:

I agree completely with the above comments on the police state being alive and well here in the Home of the Brave/Land of the Slaves. There is no doubt that the cops are totally out of control.
It is not supprising that this policeman got off for killing the owner of The Plant Farm. The police today most certainly have a lisence to kill. Everyone should be careful whenever dealing with the police. They are afraid of the people (who they love to refer to as “civilians”) and we all must take care when dealing with the hired guns of the Police State.
If you have any doubt about the existing Police State just look around and start counting the cameras at the intersections and on the interstates. The USA is looking more and more like the old USSR, China and Nazi Germany every day!
Wake up America our beloved country is in serious trouble!!!!!!!

Anonymous says:

I agree with you. I have been in this field for over 30 years, for part of that time, I was one of the calls on the alarm system. The place was isolated, and as such a hangout for local youth. I never knew what or who I would encounter when I responded to a call from the Sense-A-Phone. We did have kids inside the place on a number of occasions, throw plants around, turn the boilers off, go through the desk, file cabinets, fire extinguishers and such. I am sure you know the drill. On one hand you want to bring a fire arm for your own safety, yet, you will end up the one in the hot seat, and the punks who wreck the place go home to mommy and daddy who will swear that Jr. is a angel and choirboy. No wonder our once great nation is where it is now…..

Anonymous says:

Thank you for running this article and remembering my Dad as part of the “Greenhouse Community”. We grew up with issues of Greenhouse Grower scattered throughout our house. My Dad loved his work and we are thankful that the growing community cares for and remembers him.

Anonymous says:

Thanks for keeping the industry informed on ALL aspects pertinent. No doubt this is a horrible tragedy and ABSOLUTELY should not have happened, but instead complaining about how our great country (and the USA is GREAT) is going down, we ALL should be putting forth our best efforts to change that attitude. Nothing worth something ever comes easily, if we want to make change occur, it will be up to us to make it happen!
My deepest sympathies go out to the family, not to much else can be said.