Before they were booked into jail Friday, Wendy Lee and her son Joshua Brooks were both treated at a Seattle hospital for injuries they suffered in the Oct. 8 shooting in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood.
A 20-year-old man who Seattle police say is a prolific car thief and his mother were criminally charged Monday after their fingerprints were found on a stolen Subaru that was struck by a barrage of bullets fired by officers last week in the Eastlake neighborhood.
Joshua Brooks, who is accused of hitting a police officer with the Impreza and striking the side of a building in his haste to escape, was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, according to King County prosecutors.
Brooks, who was arrested with his mother on Friday in Everett, was wanted on a warrant in connection with two other car-theft cases after he failed to show up for court-ordered inpatient drug treatment in June, charging papers say.
He remains jailed in lieu of $40,000 bail.
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Brooks’ 46-year-old mother, Wendy Lee, was also wanted on a warrant out of Wenatchee for allegedly making a false statement to police, jail and court records show.
She was charged Monday with second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission, a Class C felony, for riding in a vehicle she knew was stolen, according to the charges.
She is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Before they were booked into jail Friday, Brooks and Lee were both treated at Harborview Medical Center for injuries suffered in the Oct. 8 shooting. Brooks had two gunshot wounds to his lower back and Lee’s lower back and legs were peppered with tiny pieces of shrapnel, the charges say.
Both denied that there was a third person riding in the Subaru’s front passenger seat at the time of the shooting, but detectives say they have “a legitimate concern” for the welfare of the unidentified passenger, charging papers say.
The charges don’t say why police believe there was a third person inside the Subaru.
The Seattle Police Department has launched both a criminal and internal investigation into the shooting in which Officers Kenneth Martin and Tabitha Sexton fired dozens of rounds at the fleeing Subaru as it sped out of an alley west of the 2200 block of Yale Avenue East. Video footage captured by officers’ body cameras and dashboard cameras was released by the department’s public-affairs office two days later.
At issue is whether the officers’ actions rose to the level of possible criminal conduct.
Also at issue is whether they violated department policy by shooting at a fleeing vehicle.
According to the charges:
Just before 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 8, a resident called 911 to report suspicious activity, saying there were at least two people in a parked car — one of them was handling a pistol and the other possibly doing drugs.
Officers arrived, confirmed the vehicle had been reported stolen four days earlier, and approached a woman standing at the front of the Subaru with the hood up, the charges say. She fled out of sight along the driver’s side and a male came into view, shut the hood and then ran back out of the officers’ sight.
The suspects ignored the officers’ commands, and an officer who was standing in front of the vehicle was hit as the driver accelerated, the charges say. That’s when Martin and Sexton fired on the vehicle.
The next day, a garbage collector who had seen news coverage of the shooting found the Subaru in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 1700 block of Northeast 145th Street in Shoreline.
Fingerprints from Brooks and Lee were found on the Subaru’s exterior.
Detectives learned a Honda Accord had been reported stolen from the same parking lot earlier that morning — and the Honda was then found by Everett police near the home of Brooks’ brother, the charges say.
Inside the Honda police found a metal lockbox containing foreign currency and a small amount of jewelry. There was a bullet hole in the lockbox, which appeared to have been fired from a 9-mm handgun, the same kind of weapon used by Sexton.
Lee’s cellphone records showed her cellphone was in the Subaru at the time of the shooting and when the vehicle fled north. Police were able to locate both her and her son in Everett by tracing her phone, according to the charges.
When they were arrested, Brooks and Lee were both carrying backpacks filled with gear police say is commonly used in burglaries and car thefts, including lock picks, shaved keys, files and a propane torch, charging papers say.