Saturday, March 23, 2013


In response to yesterday's neighborhood shooting and the subject of the previous blog post, here are two vastly differing accounts of the events that led to a suspect's death (apologies for the weird formatting in the first part, due to blogger issues when I copy and past [and just gets worse if I try to correct]):

From The Seattle Times:
The man who was fatally shot by Bellevue SWAT officers in South Seattle on Friday morning was a suspected robber who was attempting to run down officers with his car, according to Seattle police.

The suspect, who has not been publicly identified, was in his car at his brother’s house near South Hudson Street and 42nd Avenue South around 5 a.m. when Bellevue SWAT officers arrived to serve a warrant, Seattle police said.

Seattle police, who are investigating the officer-involved shooting, said that as SWAT officers approached the residence they noticed one of the men they were looking for was in the driver’s seat of a Mercedes-Benz parked in the driveway.

“The suspect noticed the SWAT officers, too,” according to a news statement released by Seattle police. “He put the car in reverse and backed up with such velocity and disregard that he struck a parked Ford F-250 pickup truck and pushed it several yards into the street.”

Bellevue officers gave numerous commands for the suspect to stop, but the man switched the car into drive and stepped on the gas, police said.

Three Bellevue officers who fired their weapons were afraid the suspect would “drive them over rather than surrender,” Seattle police said.

The three officers, who have not been named, have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a police shooting.

Seattle police said one of the Bellevue officers fired a handgun and the two others fired rifles.

The wounded man was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he died, police said.

Police said there was no one inside the house, but the suspect’s brother was questioned. Once it was determined the brother was not a suspect and was legally carrying a firearm, he was allowed to leave with the gun, according to Seattle police spokeswoman Renee Witt.

According to Bellevue police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate, SWAT officers were attempting to serve warrants on the suspect’s residence and vehicle in connection with a series of robberies in Bellevue and other jurisdictions.

She said it’s common for officers to work in other areas and that while Bellevue SWAT was leading the operation, Seattle police detectives were standing by to question the suspects.

She did not release additional information on Friday about the robberies or any other suspects, except to say there had been at least three robberies.

Juli and John Russell, who live across the street from the suspect’s brother’s home, said they were startled by gunfire, police yelling commands on a loudspeaker and the sight of a man’s body on their street.

“Early this morning, we heard gunshots outside of our house. A lot of voices, yelling, at like 5 in the morning,” said Juli Russell, a graphic designer.

“I was up already, and when I looked out the window, my husband and I saw a car crash into another car, a Bellevue SWAT vehicle
and a body that was shot.”

Neighbor David Keyes said, “We hunkered down on the floor in the bedroom and tried to stay safe. We knew this was not kids messing around with fireworks at 5 in the morning.”

He said police evacuated them from their home about a half-hour later. 

From an account that was posted on facebook by a neighbor who lives across the street from the shooting:
"this morning, at 4:57 am, Bellevue SWAT assassinated an unarmed man directly in front of my house by firing 23 rounds into his body with automatic assault weapons. My three sleeping children and my wife were less than five degress from the line of fire. The Bellevue and Seattle Police claim that while attempting to deliver a warrant, the victim backed up and hit our neighbors' truck and then put the car into drive and lurched forward and that that is the reason that the eight person strong, fully armored and armed SWAT team opened fire. This is not true, and my neighbors and I have pictures to prove it. The car hit the truck with such force in reverse that later the tow truck had to pry the vehicles apart. Furthermore, we live on a dead-end street and the SWAT tank was behind the truck that the victim backed into and blocked the only exit from this block. ( I could clearly see this through my window) There was no where for this dude to go in his car and the SWAT would have clearly known that. The victim was on his way to work, had violated his parole and panicked when approached by SWAT and hit the gas in reverse, (granted a very stupid, and in this case, a fatal mistake) at which point the SWAT team opened fire. Following the explosion of gun fire, the SPD gave us no information, only yelling "stay in your homes" which of course I ignored and evacuated my family with no assistance from our "protectors". Immediately after the killing, my children were screaming, "I don't want to die" as the SWAT continued their assault with percussion grenades on the vacant house while the victim bled to death on the street. This is outrageously blatant misconduct and this block of supportive neighbors has pictures and we have a voice. I don't contest that the police have to sometimes use deadly force, however, this man was unarmed and this operation was conducted on a densely populated residential street where over ten children and their families live. The Bellevue police and the SPD put my family in the line of fire.


  1. Obviously conflicting evidence, but the one thing that troubled me most was the brother with the gun (who was allowed to leave, with the gun).

    Are people in Seattle always walking around at 5am with guns on them? If the answer is yes, then I'd move!

    1. It's America, Cro.
      Land of the free and the right to tote assault rifles.

  2. It's astounding, though not in the least surprising, that eye-witness accounts with their photos so often entirely contradict the official report from the police.

    Love, C.

  3. The cynic says, "Typical police action and they'll easily disprove eyewitness accounts."

    The fair minded person says, "This kind of police action happens too frequently and rarely are the police disilplined."