Man shot by Kennewick police released from hospital; free to go

Man shot by Kennewick police released from hospital; free to go »Play Video

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- It took 14-phone calls and three-emails to track down the status of the man shot by Kennewick police last month. Action News finally learned Dennis Skellenger is out of the hospital and free to roam the streets.

The whole KEPR newsroom was actively making calls to police, prosecutors and jails between here and Seattle before finding out the man accused of pointing a gun at officers could be anywhere.

This all started back in June when workers at the Kennewick Autozone said Skellenger was trying to scam them out of money. Police moved in and a chase began.

Skellenger ran through yards at canyon lakes and ended up in nearby horse heaven hills park. Kennewick officers said they were forced to shoot when Skellenger pointed a gun at them.

The 26-year old ex-con has a long history with police. They've come in contact with him 169 times in the last decade, but after spending nearly a month in a Seattle hospital Skellenger was released.

Police weren't aware until we called them since he wasn't in their custody.

No charges were ever filed against Skellenger so there was no reason to hold him.

The Benton County prosecutor said he is waiting for evidence from the state crime lab before making a decision on charges. That means Skellenger is free to go as he pleases - just weeks after his nearly fatal run-in with police.

Kennewick PD told me they can't keep tabs on him because that would be harassment.