Man Accused of Assaulting Officer Moments Before Deadly Police Shooting at North Spokane Walmart Identified as Tyler Forester

Accident – Death – Obituary News : Man Charged with Assault and Obstructing Officer in North Spokane Walmart Incident

SPOKANE, Wash. — Following the recent shooting of a man by police at a Walmart in north Spokane, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of a man accused of assaulting an officer just moments before the shooting occurred.

Tyler Forester, a 33-year-old resident, appeared in court on Thursday where he was charged with third-degree assault and obstructing an officer. According to court documents, Forester allegedly approached two Spokane police officers who were engaged in a physical altercation with a shoplifting suspect. Forester reportedly pushed one of the officers from behind during the scuffle.

However, Forester denies these allegations, stating, “I didn’t assault anybody. I never assaulted anybody.” He claims that he was near the self-checkout area of the store when he heard a man shouting for help. Forester asserts that he did not know the suspect but felt compelled to intervene due to the man’s desperate pleas.

“He just kept screaming ‘help, help, help! Stop, stop, stop, please stop!'” Forester said.

Forester admits to pushing the officer’s shoulder and telling him that he was being too excessive in his handling of the situation. Despite his involvement in the incident, Forester did not witness the shooting itself but heard at least one gunshot. The police were attempting to arrest 34-year-old Kerry Jones-Hilburg for shoplifting, and he was reportedly resisting arrest, even after being tasered. A loaded gun found at the scene is believed to have belonged to Jones-Hilburg.

The officer involved in the shooting has been identified as Karl Richardson, an experienced field training officer who serves on the Spokane Police Department’s tactical team. Richardson is also a member of the department’s Dignitary Protection Team, responsible for providing security to politicians, celebrities, and other VIPs. In 2021, Richardson played a significant role in the successful recovery of a kidnapped child. He has been with the department since 2019.

As for Forester, he finds himself behind bars, facing charges of third-degree assault and obstructing an officer. A judge has set his bail at $5,000, an amount that Forester claims he cannot afford to pay.

The incident at the north Spokane Walmart has raised concerns about the use of force by law enforcement and the safety of civilians caught in the midst of such encounters. The Spokane community awaits further updates on the investigation and the legal proceedings surrounding both Forester and the shooting.

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