East Spokane shooting

Better To Just Walk Away? The Case Of The Good Samaritan Goes Out The Window


SPOKANE, WASHINGTON — Earlier in the week, we covered a story about a ‘Good Samaritan’ breaking up a domestic assault on a woman only to wind up killing the man in self-defense.  The ‘Good Samaritan’ in this case is now known to be Edward Bushnell, a veteran of the Iraqi War.  And the case for him to prove it was self-defense has begun.

As more details emerge, apparently Bushnell was taken into custody following the conflict because it turns out he fired those fatal shots into William Poindexter, 45, after the fight was over.

According to KXLY-4, Bushnell saw Poindexter assaulting his girlfriend on the sidewalk and told him to stop.  A physical confrontation took place and Poindexter used a wooden bat – which was recovered at the scene – to deliver blows to Bushnell’s head.  Poindexter then retreated three steps and took his girlfriend with him.  It was then that prosecutors allege Bushnell retrieved a handgun from his backpack and discharged three rounds at Poindexter – two of three striking him in the back.

via KXLY-4

“The defendant retrieved a handgun from a backpack, made the decision to go after Poindexter, who had walked a short distance away, and fired three shots at Poindexter. Two of the rounds struck Poindexter in the back,” Wohl said.

Despite Bushnell’s good intentions, police say pursuing Poindexter with a gun after their fight was over, was an unnecessary use of force.


“Where it went south was, after the confrontation happened, he had a telephone with him,” [Lieutenant Steve] Wohl said. “We would urge people to call police, get us coming to take over that piece, so these type of events don’t happen where someone is assaulted or, further somebody is killed.”

This is where the story really unravels.  If true, Bushnell used lethal force not in self-defense, but anger.  He is currently being charged with second degree murder.

The police were very clear that they were perfectly fine with him stopping the assault.  It was only when he decided to use lethal force to – what the prosecutor will be alleging – revenge versus self-defense, that we see the state may indeed have a justifiable case.

Bushnell has no recent or previous violent criminal convictions.  According to the Spokane Review, Poindexter has a long history of domestic abuse and violence.  Just as recently as March, Poindexter was charged with domestic abuse.

Even though many would argue that the world is a better place with Poindexter six feet under, Bushnell may have very well put himself in the wrong by doing what he did.  Hopefully, a jury of his peers will determine the validity to those accusations.

About G. Halek | View all posts by G. Halek

GH is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun…

GH is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 26 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his Sig Sauer SP2022 in a Dara Holsters Appendix IWB holster.

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  • OneOfTheGoodGuys

    “Poindexter then retreated three steps and took his girlfriend with him.”

    Maybe Bushnell was afraid for the girl’s life. Maybe it wasn’t revenge. Maybe it was defense of other innocent life. Unless it wasn’t.

  • Massolo

    I agree with the author, in that Poindexter is better gone. Bushnell, having received a blow to head with a baseball bat may not have been thinking clearly, or maybe he overheard Poindexter threatening the girl as they walked away. Let’s hope he gets a good lawyer and he gets off. To me, he did the community a service.

  • ChuckD

    A good lawyer will get him out of this. However, it’s sad that you can be beaten with a baseball bat and you have to “let the person get away with it” because he was walking away. Poindexter deserved to die. Period.

    • OldNYFirefighter

      He very well could have shot him in the leg or legs & disabling him. Arguing he thought he would come back to kill him because he was injured & couldn’t fight back. Shooting him in the back went farther than just stopping him rendering him no threat.

  • parkerglp

    Only police are allowed to shoot someone unarmed and in the back…..or if they think the person has a gun…or if they think the person might ever own a gun…. The guy should have just shot the thug when he came at him with a ball bat!

    • m2karateman

      Absolutely incorrect statement. You have a right to shoot someone who you feel is a threat to yourself or others. The fool had a bat, and had his girlfriend with him that he was assaulting beforehand. Bushnell will beat the charges easily based on that information alone.

      • parkerglp

        Good luck with your defense if you have to ever go to court. You CANNOT shoot anyone in the back because at that point you are not in immediate danger period!! Someone can come in your house and walk out with your TV and you CANNOT shoot them in the back because you are not in immediate danger. You better get some training before you end up in prison.

        • Sumner_Vengeance

          And if the BG was pulling the woman with him mumblng “as soon as we get out of here, me and my boys are going to gang-rape you to death”,


          • parkerglp

            Sumner_Vengeance – in a common sense world, I would say it would be ok, but you have to realize common sense left the U.S. a long time ago and the laws protect the criminal and there are many, many, liberal cops and judges who would love to send a gun-owner (and especially one who used his firearm) up for life! Sad, but true! Personally, I would have wasted the guy when he came at me with a bat!

      • OldNYFirefighter

        If he still had the bat in his hand, I agree with you.

  • m2karateman

    Did he not have a right to defend the girlfriend that was still with the attacker? I would say that is his self defense statement. While he may no longer have been in danger, he could say that he felt the woman was still in danger and fired to save her, which he has a right to do.

  • Freethinker02

    Let’s hope for jury nullification.

  • James Clements

    It’s above my pay grade to say wether another man should be dead or not especially when he is shot in the back. If they guy was shot while he was hitting the other guy then it’s a good shoot but when the guy is walking away is clearly not self defense. This really day one stuff. You can only use lethal force when you are in fear of death or great bodily harm and when a threat is walking away you will be hard pressed to argued you feared that. I appreciate his service but he is going to have to face the consequences of his actions.