Jonathan Shoop, the police officer who was killed at a traffic stop in Bothell, Washington, on July 13, was accidentally shot by his own field training officer, police said in a July 17 press release.
Bothell Police confirmed on Twitter Shoop’s death was the result of a “tragic crossfire situation.”
“As is documented by SMART and has been reported, this was a chaotic chain of events that occurred over the span of close to only two seconds,” City Manager Jennifer Phillips said in the statement.
“The officers were still in their vehicle and were quickly approached by a suspect with a firearm. Based on the investigation updates, it appears there was a tragic crossfire situation that resulted in the death of one of our officers.
“Let us be clear, we believe the actions of the suspect led to this tragic event.”
The statement went on to say that Shoop’s death had “brought our entire community and department to our knees in grief.”
Shoop was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard before joining the Bothell Police Department a year ago.
Here’s what you need to know:
An Official Statement Identified Shoop’s Partner as Mustafa Kumcur
The partner involved in the shooting was identified as Shoop’s field training officer, Mustafa Kumcur.
The official police statement details the sequence of events that led to Shoop being shot.
The Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART) said that around 9:40 p.m. on July 13, Officers Shoop and Kumcur stopped the suspect, identified as Henry Eugene Washington, in Bothell Landing for driving his Pontiac without a license plate.
The driver sped away and hit a pedestrian on a scooter before crashing.
“The male driver had already exited the Pontiac and was walking away from the crashed car but, as the patrol SUV stopped facing his car, he changed direction and rapidly approached the driver’s door of the patrol SUV, while holding a pistol, and opened fire,” the statement said.
Authorities had ascertained that “Officer Shoop was driving and Officer Kumcur was in the passenger seat, holding his firearm, as the male approached the driver’s door. While detectives continue working on the sequence of events, it is believed the male fired two rounds into the patrol SUV. One broke the driver’s side window and the other hit Officer Kumcur’s firearm, ricocheted and struck him in the head.
“It is also believed Officer Kumcur fired multiple times with one of the shots striking and killing Officer Shoop in the crossfire.”
MyNorthwest said witnesses claimed the suspect advanced on the officers yelling “come on, pig” and reported that the bullet ricocheting off Kumcur’s firearm “may have helped deflect the bullet from fatally striking Kumcur in the face … but it also may have re-positioned Kumcur’s weapon towards Shoop, causing Kumcur to unintentionally fire on his partner.”
The Suspect Claimed He Was Acting in Self-Defense
Washington, who was identified as homeless in court documents but whose mother Carolyn Washington stated he lives with her in Central Texas and works in the construction industry, claimed he started firing at the officers in self-defense “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,” The Associated Press reported.
Carolyn Washington told KOMO News that her son, who she said has a history of mental illness, was visiting Washington and may not have been taking his medication.
On July 17, the King County Prosecutor’s Office filed felony charges against Washington of aggravated first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and vehicular assault.
He did not appear at an initial court hearing on July 15, KOMO News reported.
Authorities said Washington had admitted in interviews with detectives to shooting into the police SUV, hitting a pedestrian and making a 911 call, according to the July 17 press release.
Police said Washington called a 911 call center in Kansas to advise his family he had shot and killed a police officer.
Heavy reported that Washington had previous convictions in Kansas and Arizona, with convictions in Texas — including evading arrest, possession of marijuana, felony drug possession and making terroristic threats — dating back to 2001.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office said in court documents, “The fact that Mr. Washington did not fire the fatal shot is immaterial to his culpability in this crime. But for Mr. Washington’s directed attack on the officers, Officer Shoop would be alive today.”
A Pedestrian Who Was Hit During the Incident Is Recovering
In an interview with KOMO’s Suzanne Phan, Jalen Irvin, a 20-year-old pedestrian on the scene at the time of the shooting, recounted hearing gunshots from the ground after he was hit by Washington’s car at a crosswalk while riding a scooter and thrown 50 feet into the air.
Irvin received 20 stitches and had a metal rod inserted after his leg was broken in three places.
Irvin told Phan in the interview Shoop “gave his life for his community” and his heart was with Shoop’s family.
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