A Snoqualmie/North Bend police officer shot and killed a 33-year-old man in North Bend’s Torguson Park around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, officials said.
According to initial reports, an officer was doing a check of the park and approached a group of people. The officer shot and killed someone after there was an altercation and “a person went for the officer’s weapon,” according to an initial statement on Twitter.
Since the shooting, reports have differed on whether the people in the park were together or knew each other, said Meeghan Black, a spokesperson for the Bellevue police and King County’s Independent Force Investigations Team, which is investigating the incident.
“We have gotten three different scenarios now as to what happened,” she said. “We believe that it was not a group of people and there may have been other people in the park.”
In an update Wednesday afternoon, the investigation team said a fight “quickly broke out” between the officer and the man when the officer asked him to leave the park because it was closed.
The officer, who was knocked to the ground, fired one shot, the investigation team said, when the man attempted to grab the officer’s weapon.
The man’s family is being kept informed on details of the investigation, according to the news release. The officer sustained minor injuries.
Communications and the investigation of the incident are being handled by King County’s Independent Force Investigation Team, which consists of 13 local law-enforcement agencies.
The team was founded after Initiative 940 was passed by state voters in 2018, requiring independent investigations into the use of deadly force. The initiative took effect in January 2020, and the Independent Force Investigations Team was formed in the past year, Black said.
The team investigates only shootings by officers of member agencies that result in serious bodily harm or death. Not all law-enforcement agencies in the county are members of the team. This is the first time it has convened to investigate a shooting by an officer, Black said.
Investigators on the King County team must undergo a “deconfliction protocol” to ensure they do not know the officer who discharged the weapon, she said.
Following protocol, the officer who shot the man has been placed on administrative leave. The Kirkland Police Department is taking the lead on the investigation and will turn over its findings to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Black said.