Three Law Enforcement Task Force Members Shoot, Kill Murder Suspect in Kent During Joint Operation

The Seattle Police Department’s Force Investigation Team is investigating after an SPD detective, a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office detective and a deputy United States Marshal shot and killed a man on Wednesday while attempting to arrest him on a murder warrant.

Around 5:45 pm, members of the Pacific Northwest Violent Offenders Task Force — which includes officers from SPD and other regional jurisdictions — attempted to serve a warrant at the residence of a fugitive wanted for murder in the 3500 block of South 222nd Place in Kent. 

Per initial information gathered from the scene, task force members knocked and identified themselves as law enforcement. When the suspect opened the door, he charged out at officers holding a knife. An SPD detective, a SCSO detective and a deputy US Marshal opened fire, striking the suspect. 

Law enforcement and Kent Fire Department personnel attempted medical aid but the suspect died at the scene. 

SPD’s Force Investigation Team will investigate the officer-involved shooting. Representatives of the Office of Police Accountability and the Office of Inspector General responded to the scene. Per policy, the SPD detective will be placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.

Update 6/4/22

Per policy, The Seattle Police Department is releasing video associated with Wednesday’s officer-involved shooting.

A Seattle Police Officer, working as a member of the Pacific Northwest Violent Offenders Task Force, along with two other law enforcement officers, were attempting to arrest a man on a warrant in connection with a California homicide investigation. The Task Force officers knocked and announced their presence at the apartment. That man exited the Kent apartment and charged at officers while holding a large kitchen knife.

The Force Investigation Team continues to investigate and will release additional details as they become available.

The Seattle Police Department is also releasing the name of the SPD detective involved in this shooting: Detective Matthew Lilje. He has been with the department for 18 years.

Historically, officers serving on federal task forces have been exempt from the department body-worn camera policy, therefore, no body-worn video of this incident exists.

In light of changed/changing circumstances with respect to both state law and the policies of federal partners, and in the interest of maximizing transparency across all operations, Chief Diaz has rescinded all current task force exemptions while the SPD re-evaluates the conditions, if any, in which exemptions from the body-worn camera policy might be appropriate.  Effective immediately, officers serving on federal task forces will be equipped with body-worn cameras and understand their obligations under SPD policy.