Seattle police fatally shot a 36-year-old man Tuesday night after he led state troopers on a chase on Interstate 5 in a stolen pickup before bailing out of the vehicle and pulling a gun on an officer, authorities said.
The handgun the man pointed at the officer turned out to be a pellet gun, police said.
The pursuit began around 10:30 p.m. near milepost 140 in Federal Way, close to the King-Pierce county line, when a trooper began following a vehicle traveling north at 80 mph in a 60 mph zone, according to a Washington State Patrol incident memo released Wednesday.
Several other troopers and a State Patrol aircraft assisted in what turned out to be a 20-mile pursuit, the memo says. A second trooper took over the pursuit as the vehicle reached Interstate 405.
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The State Patrol said the pickup averaged speeds of 100 mph and made erratic lane changes before leaving the freeway at the Swift Avenue South/South Albro Place exit.
Seattle police spokesman Drew Fowler said that after exiting the freeway, the driver “came to a stop and bailed out,” causing the pickup to roll back into a guardrail. The driver then ran and hid inside or behind a storage shed in the 6400 block of South Eddy Street, Fowler said.
A K-9 officer and a second, “cover” officer tracked the man to where he was hiding, according to police. While inside the shed, the man told the officers: “I’ve got a pistol, too,” police said.
At some point, the man pointed a gun at the officers as he came out of hiding and was fatally shot by the cover officer, Fowler said.
Fowler explained that during a K-9 track, a K-9 officer is focused on handling the dog while the “cover officer” is responsible for keeping the handler and dog safe and identifying any threats.
Police said the gun turned out to be a “realistic-looking” pellet gun.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday identified the man as Austin J. Derby. He died of multiple gunshot wounds.
According to court records and a state Department of Corrections (DOC) spokeswoman, Derby had a long criminal history — including convictions for kidnapping, robbery, forgery and taking a motor vehicle — dating back to 1998.
He was first admitted to prison in 2002 and was released to community corrections in 2012. His DOC supervision ended last August, the spokeswoman said.
During a news conference Wednesday morning on another matter, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said “it’s clear [the man killed by police] had a firearm and he threatened a police officer.”
The officer who shot Derby joined the Seattle department in 2008, according to Fowler. He is on paid administrative leave, which is routine after an officer-involved shooting.
A female passenger inside the pickup remained with the vehicle and was treated for injuries — described in the State Patrol memo as a “headache” — from the crash, Fowler said.
She is not considered a suspect in the case, police said.
Trooper Chris Webb said Wednesday the stolen vehicle was a white 2013 Ford F-150 pickup. Detectives were working to determine where and when it had been stolen.
Tuesday night’s shooting came less than 48 hours after an armed 23-year-old man was fatally shot around 4 p.m. Monday by a King County sheriff’s deputy assigned to Sound Transit at the transit agency’s Sodo Station.
On Wednesday, the deputy was identified as Deputy Malcolm Elliott, 39, by sheriff’s spokeswoman, Sgt. DB Gates. Elliott joined the sheriff’s office in February 2002 and transferred to the Sound Transit police division in early 2009, Gates said.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the 23-year-old as Oscar Perez-Giron and said he died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolfe contributed to this report.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org