King County Executive Dow Constantine today ordered an inquest into the fatal shooting by Seattle police of Henry Lee Sr. on Sept. 23.
Police say Lee, 77, pointed a handgun at three officers who responded to a 911 call he reportedly placed after hearing noises outside his home. The two officers who opened fire on Lee Sr. were placed on administrative reassignment, which is routine after police shootings.
Police identified the officers as Daina Boggs, a 19-year veteran, and Nate Patterson, a seven-year veteran. Boggs fired twice and Patterson fired once, police said.
Lee was struck once.
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Lee suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but still managed to live alone in his longtime Rainier View home, according to his family. His grandson, Gabriel Lee, said his grandfather’s memory-related illnesses had become more pronounced over the past three years.
Family members also said that he used to own “a lot of guns,” but relatives took away most of them because of his deteriorating condition.
Seattle Police Chief John Diaz said the shooting was a “tragic incident.”
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg recommended the inquest after his office reviewed materials from the Seattle Police Department, which conducted the investigation.
Inquests are fact-finding hearings conducted before a six-member jury. They are routinely called to determine the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of any law enforcement agency within King County while in the performance of his or her duties.