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Update to officer-involved shooting in Beacon Hill

This following update to yesterday’s officer-involved shooting was presented at a press conference at Seattle Police Headquarters this afternoon.

On November 22nd at approximately 2:24 p.m. officers responded to a call for immediate assistance from fire department personnel in an alley north of South Atlantic Street and between 14th and 15th Avenue South, facing northbound.
SFD had responded to an aid call regarding a man sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car, a 2004 VW Passat.  When SFD contacted the man he displayed a firearm, raising it to his head.  The firefighters retreated to cover and called for immediate SPD assistance. 

Uniformed patrol and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) officers responded to the scene and contacted the male subject while he was still seated in the car.  He reversed the car onto S Atlantic Street, facing westbound.  Officers could see a handgun in the subject’s hand and subsequently gave the man multiple commands to put down the weapon.  He was jockeying the car back and forth in a manner that seemed indecisive.  The man was operating a stick shift and would lower the gun to manipulate the stick.  He lowered the gun and raised it, doing so multiple times.  SWAT officers saw the man holding the gun to his head.  The constant movement of the gun in and out of sight created a dangerous environment.  The three SWAT officers fired their service rifles.  The subject was struck several times.  Five shots total were fired.  SFD personnel were on scene already and rendered medical assistance however, the subject died at the scene.

Homicide and CSI detectives responded to the scene and continue to actively investigate.  The firearm, a New England 32 caliber revolver was loaded with three live rounds and had one spent shell casing.  The circumstances of the spent shell casing are still under investigation.  This handgun is capable of holding five rounds.

The male in question is a 31-year old Asian male.  The King County Medical Examiner’s Office will name him once they have conducted family notification.  The KCME is conducting the autopsy today.

During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the VW that the suspect was in had just been stolen earlier in the day during a burglary in the Queen Anne neighborhood.  That vehicle has been collected as evidence and has been towed to the SPD Processing Room.  The suspect has no known connection to the Beacon Hill neighborhood where this incident occurred.

All three involved officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.

The involved officers are Evan Ehring, a ten year veteran (plus two with a previous agency), Shawn Benshoof, an eight year veteran (plus four with a previous agency), and Jeff Geoghagan, a 16-year veteran (plus three with a previous agency).   All three are assigned to SWAT in the Special Operations Bureau.

A Firearms Review Board will be convened in the future to determine whether the shooting was within Department policy.  An inquest will be convened at the direction of the King County Executive.

This information is preliminary and subject to change as the investigation proceeds.