Suspects in Colville Reservation shooting indicted in federal court

SPOKANE, Wash – Three men charged in connection with a shooting on the Colville Reservation last month now face charges in federal court.

Federal prosecutors have charged Zachary Holt, Dezmonique Tenzsley and Curry Pinkham of several charges, including assault on a federal officer.

The FBI’s criminal complaint lays out the charges against them.

According to that document, the incident on October 20th began with a call that two people were dead from gunshot wounds in a trailer in Keller, Washington. Agents learned the suspects may have left the scene in a red sedan.

That night, Colville Tribal Police Sgt. Kris Brakebilll was helping the FBI with the investigation into those murders and was responding from Omak when he passed a vehicle matching the suspects’ description traveling in the opposite direction.

According to the FBI, Brakebill did a U-turn and followed the car at speeds of up to 85 miles per hour. The car stopped, Brakebill called dispatch and told the people in the car to show their hands.

“Around this point,” the FBI agent wrote, “both doors on the passenger side opened and two individuals, who appeared to be late-teen Native American females, got out of  the car…. Sgt. Brakebill then saw a rear door open slightly and what looked like the barrel of a semi-automatic handgun emerge from the opened door. Sergeant Brakebill could not see the individual holding the gun. Upon seeing the gun, Sgt. Brakebill ducked down toward the center console of his police vehicle. The individual holding the gun then fired a single shot toward Sgt. Brakebill’s vehicle. The red car then drove away, abandoning the two females.”

Sgt. Brakebill followed the car and came upon it around a turn in the road. He said someone in the vehicle shot at him again, this time hitting him in the forearm.

The car took off again and Sgt. Brakebill followed at a distance. He said someone in the car fired a third time, this one hitting 40 feet in the dirt ahead of his vehicle. The car took off again and Brakebill lost sight of it.

At that time, police told people in the town of Nespelem to shelter in place, not knowing if the men were nearby and if they were still armed.

The next morning, a homeowner reported that people were trespassing in a home. Colville Tribal Police found Holt and Tenszley there, being held at gunpoint in the backyard by the homeowner.

Tenzsley is a convicted felon and not allowed to legally have firearms or ammunition. The FBI says he had ammunition on him at the time of his arrest and he was charged in federal court that day.

Holt and Pinkham were initially held in the Colville Tribal Corrections Center. They were indicted in federal court on November 1st.

Holt and Pinkham are charged with assaulting a federal officer and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. Tenzsley is charged with those crimes, in addition to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Officers still haven’t released the names of those killed in Keller or a motive for that crime.

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