The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the man who was in crisis and carrying a knife when he was shot and killed by Seattle police near the downtown waterfront last week.
Derek J. Hayden, 44, died Feb. 16 of multiple gunshot wounds, the medical examiner’s office said Monday. His death was ruled a homicide. (A determination of homicide means only that a person was responsible for another person’s death and does not necessarily indicate criminal culpability.)
Officers were called to the area around 9:20 p.m. after receiving a call from a Port of Seattle police officer, who said there was a man with a knife walking near Alaskan Way and Seneca Street, according to audio of the 911 call, which police shared last week.
The Port officer told the Seattle police dispatcher that the man — later identified as Hayden — had cut himself and that he appeared to be suicidal.
Perry Cooper, a spokesperson for the Port of Seattle Police Department, said Monday that Port officers tried to use a less-lethal tool — a 40mm device that shoots foam-tipped projectiles — before Seattle police arrived, but that it was not effective. He declined to give further information about what happened before Seattle police responded, citing the ongoing investigation.
When Seattle police arrived at the downtown waterfront, they spotted Hayden and yelled at him to stop walking while pointing a gun at him, officers’ body-camera footage showed. Hayden, who was still carrying the knife, continued coming toward the officers while urging them to kill him.
A few seconds later, the body-camera video shows officers firing at Hayden. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave while the city’s Office of Police Accountability and the Seattle Police Department’s Force Investigation Team look into the shooting.
Seattle police had no updates on the investigation as of Monday.