SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. (BP)–A police officer doing a prowl check outside a business in Spokane Valley, Wash., Wednesday night shot and killed the owner — a Southern Baptist pastor — who apparently also was checking for suspicious activity.
Details are still emerging in the case in which 74-year-old Scott Creach, owner of the Plant Farm nursery and pastor of Greenacres Baptist Church, was killed. Creach was carrying a gun and lives next door to the business.
The officer, whose name has not been released, was in an unmarked car but was in uniform, local media reported.
The Spokane Police Department is conducting an investigation.
“There was a specific request for officer presence [Wednesday] night in this area, and this officer [was] on a prowl check, sitting in the parking lot,” police spokesperson Jennifer DeRuwe said, according to KXLY-TV in Spokane. “… Exactly what happened after that is still under investigation, but we do know that the officer fired his gun and Mr. Creach died at the scene.”
A neighbor had requested that police patrol the neighborhood and look for suspicious activity. Creach’s son, Alan, told the Associated Press his father had walked outside at 11 p.m. to check on a possible burglar.
“We have suffered a terrible tragedy,” Alan Creach said. “My mother could hear that from the bedroom.”
The police officer and Scott Creach were in close proximity to one another when the shot was fired, KXLY reported.
Scott Creach had served as pastor of the church since founding it in the 1970s. It has about 300 members. Creach once hosted a gardening show on a local radio station.
Compiled by Michael Foust, an assistant editor of Baptist Press.