Two King County sheriff’s detectives fatally shot a man on Monday who is suspected of stealing a pickup truck from a Black Diamond gas station on Friday with a 4-year-old poodle named Monkey in the front passenger seat.
The shooting happened around 11:50 a.m. Monday in the 35200 block of Veazie Cumberland Road Southeast in unincorporated King County, about 7 miles southeast of the gas station where the pickup was stolen, said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office on Tuesday identified the man who was killed as 36-year-old Anthony Chilcott and determined he died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head. His death was ruled a homicide.
A half hour before the fatal officer-involved shooting, a sheriff’s deputy on patrol spotted the stolen pickup near Flaming Geyser State Park but didn’t attempt to stop the vehicle because it was being driven too fast, Abbott said. Shortly after that, a State Patrol trooper began a short chase but lost the pickup, he said.
Then two plainclothes detectives, both assigned to the Special Emphasis Team working out of the sheriff’s Precinct 3 in Maple Valley, received a tip about where the pickup might be and located it on the side of the road at Southeast 352nd Street and Veazie Cumberland Road Southeast, said Abbott.
Abbott said details are vague because the investigation is still ongoing, but the detectives reported over their police radio that their vehicle, an unmarked white Yukon, was being rammed by the suspect in the pickup. The detectives got out of the Yukon and were involved in a “physical altercation” with the suspect while he remained in the driver’s seat of the pickup. Both detectives fired at the suspect, who died at the scene, Abbott said. It was unclear Monday whether the suspect was armed.
One detective is a 21-year veteran and the second has been with the Sheriff’s Office for three years, according to Abbott. Both were placed on paid administrative leave while the officer-involved shooting is investigated by the Seattle Police Department. The detectives were treated at the scene for cuts to their hands.
Apparently startled by the gunfire, Monkey jumped out of one of the pickup’s windows, but a resident who lives nearby was able to catch the dog and leash him before reuniting Monkey with his owners, Carl and Stefanie Sanders.
Carl Sanders, an excavation contractor, said he was on his way home to Enumclaw from a job site on Friday when he stopped for gas at the Cenex station in Black Diamond around 4 p.m. He went inside the convenience store to buy a soda and as he was paying, he looked out the window and saw his truck peeling out of the parking lot and speeding off on Highway 169. He said he’d left his keys inside the pickup.
Sanders said he locked eyes with Monkey before his pickup disappeared. He called 911.
Cmdr. Larry Colagiovanni of the Black Diamond Police Department said his officers immediately recognized the 36-year-old suspect from video-surveillance footage, since they’ve had numerous contacts with him “since he was a kid.”
Black Diamond police arrested the man on Oct. 28 on a misdemeanor warrant and ended up having to use a Taser on him before placing him in the back of a patrol car, the commander said. He said the suspect repeatedly kicked the door of the patrol car, causing $2,000 in damage. Court records show the man was charged with malicious mischief the next day.
According to Colagiovanni, the suspect was released from jail on personal recognizance on Nov. 13, nine days before he allegedly stole Sanders’ pickup.
“On the video, you can see him casing the parking lot” before jumping into the pickup, Colagiovanni said. On the surveillance footage, he said the hose being used to fuel the pickup is ripped from the pump, the nozzle still inside the gas tank.
Colagiovanni’s officers were preparing an arrest warrant on Monday for theft of a vehicle and property damage when they learned the stolen pickup had been spotted by a sheriff’s deputy on Southeast Green River Valley Road, near the state park. Even with numerous officers responding to the area, “he slipped through and got away,” said Colagiovanni.
Meanwhile, Carl and Stefanie Sanders — who spent the weekend searching for Monkey, including for six hours on Saturday in a helicopter owned by a friend of a friend —decided to go looking for him again. The couple were on their way to Black Diamond when they “saw several police cars flying by” with lights flashing and sirens blaring, Carl Sanders said. As they were following in the officers’ wake, Stefanie Sanders, a real-estate agent, got a call from a client who is a police officer.
“He called her and said Monkey ran up behind a house on the railway tracks,” Sanders recalled Monday afternoon. The shooting happened at the end of the homeowner’s driveway, and that person “saw Monkey running and was able to calm him down and put a leash on him.”
When the Sanderses arrived at the scene, Monkey was shaking and had a cut to the head from jumping through a window that had been shot out, Sanders said. The dog was hungry and dehydrated since he hadn’t been fed or watered for three days, and he needed two staples to close the wound, but was otherwise fine.
Sanders said his biggest concern was that his pickup would be used as a weapon against an innocent person and he commended all of the police officers involved in the investigation.
“It’s a tragic loss of life that should never have happened,” he said.
This story was updated Nov. 26 to include the identity of Anthony Chilcott, the man shot by detectives on Nov. 25.