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Officer-involved shooting in Greenwood

On May 22nd at 10:15 a.m. Seattle Police North Precinct patrol officers responded to an out of state ‘check the welfare – suicidal person’ report. The complainant was an immediate family member of the 29-year-old male that had been apparently threatening suicide. The complainant stated that the male had threatened to “blow his brains out”. Officers were dispatched to the address in question, located in the 12500 block of Greenwood Avenue N.

Upon arrival at 10:19 a.m. officers made contact with the subject in question. The male was uncooperative and refused to let officers inside. The man told officers that his 20-month-old son was on the other side of the front door and should the officers force the door open, harm would come to the child. The man had his child knock on the door to convince the officers that this was indeed the case. The scene supervisor initiated requests to mobilize SWAT and Hostage Negotiators.

Other officers had proceeded to the rear of the building to watch the back door of the apartment unit. Officers at the rear of the building were descending a concrete staircase when they saw the suspect exit to a small fenced patio area at the rear of his unit. This particular apartment unit was on the ground floor of the building. Officers had a brief verbal dialogue with the subject. He indicated that he had a handgun on a table just out of view of the officers and if officers made any attempts to enter the unit, there would be a “bloodbath”. The complainant told 911 operators that the subject was distraught over the recent death of his wife and that they were concerned for the welfare of the child due to his level of grief.

The subject refused to surrender. At 10:47 a.m. the subject made an effort to re-enter his apartment unit. Believing that the subject was going to arm himself with the aforementioned pistol and out of concern that this would put both the child and officers on scene in immediate danger, an officer on the steps fired one shot from his duty Glock handgun, striking the subject in the side of his cheek.

Seattle Fire medics responded and provided emergency care to the subject. He was then transported to Harborview Medical Center for further medical treatment. It is our understanding that the injury he sustained by the single gunshot was non-life threatening. The child was located in the apartment and taken into protective custody. The child will be left in the care of a local family member. A cursory search of the apartment did not reveal a “handgun on the table”.

The officer involved in the shooting is an 8 ½ year veteran of the Seattle Police Department. As a matter of practice, he will be placed on paid administrative leave.

Seattle Police Homicide and CSI detectives are on scene conducting their investigation. A search warrant for the apartment unit is in the process of being procured. It is normal for Homicide detectives to conduct the casework for any officer-involved shooting. A Firearms Review Board will be convened in the coming weeks to determine whether or not the shooting was within policy. This case is an active and ongoing investigation. While this information is preliminary, it is the best available at the present time.