SEATTLE (AP) — Charging documents filed Friday in the fatal shooting of a suburban Seattle police officer say it was the officer’s partner, not the suspect, who fired the deadly shot.
Prosecutors charged Henry Eugene Washington with aggravated first-degree murder in the death of rookie Bothell officer Jonathan Shoop.
They said that Washington began firing into the driver’s window of the patrol car after he was pulled over Monday night. Shoop was in the driver’s seat, and his partner, Mustafa Kumcur, was in the passenger seat.
They returned fire, and one of the bullets Kumcur fired struck Shoop in the head.
Casey McNerthney, a spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said in an emailed statement that Washington was legally responsible for the death.
“But for Mr. Washington’s directed attack on the officers, Officer Shoop would be alive today,” he said.
An attorney for Washington did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The shooting occurred Monday night after the two officers tried to pull over a black sedan without license plates, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Detective David Fontenot wrote in a probable cause statement filed in court.
The driver fled, striking a 20-year-old man on a scooter and crashing through a median before coming to a stop. According to the probable cause statement, as the patrol car pulled up, Washington hustled around the front to its driver’s side and fired two shots into the vehicle.
A witness told investigators that the shooter shouted “Come on, pig” as he fired, Fontenot wrote.
One of the bullets Washington fired struck the rear sight of Kumcur’s raised weapon, then cut a deep graze wound in his head, the statement said. The officers fired nine shots in return.
After the suspect ran off, Kumcur pulled Shoop from the vehicle and tried to save his life, Fontenot wrote. Medics arrived as well, but Shoop died at the scene.
Kumcur was treated and released from Harborview Medical Center early Tuesday.
Police hunted for the suspect for five hours, saying they were searching for a man who was armed and wearing a gray tank top and baggy sweatpants. They finally found and arrested him on a nearby rooftop where he had been hiding, they said.
Washington, who is listed as homeless in court documents, called the Junction City, Kansas, police department during the manhunt, identified himself and confessed to the shooting, saying he did it in self-defense, the detective wrote.
It wasn’t immediately clear why he called the department in Kansas, but police there alerted authorities in Washington state about it and provided investigators a recording of the call.
Washington also spoke with detectives following his arrest, confirming what he told the Junction City police, Fontenot wrote. In a recorded interview, Washington said he shot at Shoop because he “instinctively” believed the officer was going to kill him, and he was afraid his weapon, vehicle and marijuana were going to be seized.