[Vision2020] Ten years ago today today (May 19, 2007)

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Fri May 19 00:36:13 PDT 2017

Courtesy of today's (May 19, 2017) Moscow-Pullman Daily News with special thanks to Katie Short, Daily News staff writer.


Newbill's lasting legacy
Outpouring of community support still runs strong
By Katie Short, Daily News staff writer

It was just after 11:30 p.m. that night that Moscow Police Sgt. Lee Newbill was shot and killed trying to protect his community from a shooter who had opened fire on the Latah County Sheriff's office.

He died from his wounds before a team of three Latah County Sheriff's deputies and one Moscow Police officer, could rescue and take him to Gritman Medical Center.

Ten years later, those in the Moscow community who remember that night, still grieve the loss of Newbill and the two other victims who lost their lives that night.

Newbill was a 1982 University of Idaho graduate and joined the Moscow Police Department on March 1, 2001. His family and friends remember his love for Celtic music and his ability to always tell a good story.

If there was one good thing that came out of the shooting and Newbill's death, it was the outpouring of sympathy and empathy from the community, said Phil Gray, who at the time was a sergeant for the Latah County Sheriff and a part of the rescue team.

"The community and law enforcement were so close," said Gray.

Immediately afterwards and for about a year, police were held in the highest regard, said Moscow officer Jay Waters, who was also a part of Newbill's rescue team. The community and law enforcement worked well together before, but after the shooting the relationship between the two was much stronger, he said.

Gray and Waters also went back for Latah County Sheriff's Sgt. Brannon Jordan later that night after he was inadvertently left behind, wounded in the rescue mission for Newbill.

The events set in motion by shooter Jason Hamilton aren't any less important a decade later, they are just less prominent in the minds of the Moscow community, Waters said.

"Some remember more vividly than others," said Gray.

In Newbill's memory, the city dedicated a bench in Friendship Square, as well as a memorial by the flagpole at the Moscow Police Department's firearms range. There's a Lee Newbill safety fair for kids every year, too, organized by community members.

Also in the wake of the shooting, the Latah County Sheriff's Office installed cameras in the adjoining courthouse and the parking lot. They also installed bullet proof windows and doors at the dispatch center. The SWAT team now carries all their gear with them in their vehicles, instead of storing it at the sheriff's department. This ensures that if another attack like the one in 2007 were to happen again, deputies have access to their gear, said Jordan.

"Newbill lives on in his kids," Jordan said, adding it is truly amazing the price someone will pay to save others.


In memory of Moscow Police Officer Lee Newbill

Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares"
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

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