Officer in fatal South Hill shooting identifed

Prosecutor finds deadly South Hill police shooting justified

The Spokane Police Department has identified the officer who shot Jacob Dorfman during a confrontation with him earlier this week.

Adam Valdez, a six-year veteran of the force, fired his service weapon at Dorfman when he got out of his vehicle and pointed a gun at officers. Dorfman was hit and died at the scene.

Valdez was the only officer of the four who were involved in the confrontation with Dorfman who fired his weapon.

“Clearly firearms discipline is something we train for, something that we teach so that you don’t have sympathetic reactions where multiple officers have their guns out and multiple officers fire on the suspect, and so again I think this goes to the training, the discipline of the officers involved in an incredibly tense situation,” Police Chief Frank Straub said Thursday morning, when asked why only one officer fired his weapon at Dorfman.

The officers responded to a call at 8th and Monroe early Tuesday morning of someone standing in the middle of the street firing a gun. When they arrived, they confronted Dorfman, who jumped into a Jeep Grand Cherokee and led officers on a brief pursuit that ended in the parking lot of Huckleberry’s and Ace Hardware near 10th and Monroe. Two officers blocked his vehicle in at both the front and rear bumpers and Dorfman got out of the vehicle and allegedly pointed a gun at officers. At that point Valdez responded by firing at Dorfman.

South Hill shooting folo

While the names of all of the officers have not been publicly released yet, Chief Straub did say Thursday morning that the officers that responded to the incident Tuesday were highly trained and at least one of them had recently completed in-service training.

“I will say that we had some of our most highly trained and qualified police officers who responded to that scene. In fact at least one of the officers had just done a segment of our in-service training about a week or so before that and I had an opportunity to sit through that training and was extremely impressed with his instruction,” Straub said.

“We brought the right people to that incident and think because of that we didn’t have injury to the community more broadly or to our officers,” he added.

While serving as a Spokane police officer, Officer Valdez has received several commendations for his work. In 2010, he received a commendation for talking a person out of jumping off a balcony, preventing that person from committing suicide. In 2012 he received a second commendation for helping safely return a missing 10-year-old girl to her home.

Valdez was also nominated for City Employee of the Month in 2008.

Dorfman, a prolific criminal with a history of violent offenses including assaulting a police officer and eluding, had been scheduled to be in court later Tuesday morning to respond to charges stemming from a shoplifting incident at the General Store in January.

He had just been released from the Spokane County Jail on Feb. 2.

Valdez and the other three officers who were at the scene are on paid administrative leave following the shooting. The Washington State Patrol, which is the lead agency investigating the incident, would not confirm Thursday whether or not Valdez or the other three officers had been interviewed yet.

The officers are supposed to be interviewed within 72 hours.