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UPDATE: Detectives Describe Chaotic Series of Crimes Leading to Officer-Involved Shooting
Almost a week later, SMART -- the multi-department investigatory agency charged with conducting parallel administrative and criminal probes -- releases initial timeline info -- but no suspect ID.
Suspect Identity, Mindset, Motive Remain a Mystery — but Timeline Details Emerge
Nearly a week after a Lake Stevens Police Department officer fatally shot a suspect inside a marked patrol car, residents and city officials still don’t know who this man was or what prompted his one man crime spree that included harassment, assault, attempted kidnapping and carjacking — and ended with the suspect gaining entry to a police car and fighting with a police officer… leading to the fatal shooting.
However, narrative details that add a series of hit-and-runs (as well as the deceased suspect’s age) to the list of known facts were released by detectives Thursday. J425 has the full report below.
Yesterday, prior to today’s limited release of info, J425 spoke with Lake Stevens Police Chief Jeffrey Beazizio, who confirmed that he had not been told the identity of the man at the center of the Friday crime spree — and that while he awaited further information, he was concentrating on the well-being of his staff.
“I took the opportunity to call every member of our staff Sunday,” Beazizo told J425, stating that after an event of this magnitude it’s vital to check in on the physical and mental well-being of everyone in the agency.
Beazizio stated that he was grateful for all the outreach and support from citizens and the City, and confirmed that all LSPD personnel involved in the incident are unharmed and under the department’s care. J425 also asked Chief Beazizio about the release of body cam footage —more on that later.
Investigative Agency Releases Initial Narrative
Today, J425 can report that the investigative agency presiding over last Friday’s events has released its first narrative describing the series of events that began around 11:30 am last Friday at Frontier Village.
That agency — the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART) — is responsible for the parallel criminal and administrative investigations arising from the suspect’s actions and the officer involved shooting.
SMART is a team of investigators, evidence technicians, records specialist, and public information officers from various Snohomish County law enforcement agencies and Washington State Patrol who respond to, and investigate, police use of force incidents.
SMART took over complete control of the crime scenes moments after the shooting, removing local agencies from any of their typical responsibilities. SMART will compile a criminal report on the deceased suspect’s activities and compile a report on the officer-involved-shooting that will be forwarded to a county prosecutor.
The SMART narrative confirms much of our earlier reporting and adds in a few wrinkles. We’ll give it to you verbatim.
Here it is, from the latest SMART update:
Around 11:30 am, the Lake Stevens Police Department responded to Frontier Village (600 BIK SR-9) for reports of a carjacking. During the investigation, detectives learned the suspect, a 30-year-old man, followed a woman as she exited the store and walked to her vehicle in the parking lot. The suspect engaged in a physical altercation with a woman were she was thrown to the ground multiple times before gaining access to her vehicle and fleeing. As the suspect fled the parking lot in the van, he struck three vehicles.
Officers located the vehicle southbound on SR-9. The 30-year-old suspect fled from the vehicle. on foot. Officers located him and initiated a foot pursuit. The suspect ran towards a marked patrol vehicle and accessed the driver's seat at which point a physical altercation ensued between the suspect and an officer. During the physical altercation the suspect was shot.
The suspect, a 30-year-old man, died at the sceme. Positive identification and cause and manner of death will be released by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office.
The 33-year-old woman involved in the physical altercation had non-life-threatening injuries.
The involved Lake Stevens police officer has been with the department for twelve years and is currently on administrative leave per standard department procedure.
This is an active and ongoing investigation. When the SMART investigation is complete, results will be forwarded to the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office for review.
From a transparency point of view, SMART not only controls the flow of investigative information, they’re also allowed to basically hoover up all of the LSPD’s data and evidence — including body cam footage — and safeguard this information in an investigative file that often is not released to the public for months or even years. This is why the suspect’s identity was unknown to the Chief yesterday.
In closing, J425 spoke to Chief Beazizio about the release of body cam footage yesterday. This is one area in which the local agency has the ability to release evidence under SMART’s purview. SMART policy has a carve-out for body cam footage that basically states that footage will be released at the request of the local agency, if the prosecutor clears it. At this time, Chief Beazizo did not plan to seek the release of the body cam footage, although he stated he had not spoken to the prosecutor yet and that he would continually reevaluate the matter as the investigation moves forward.
J425 will stay on this developing story. We are actively seeking to identify the suspect and have unconfirmed leads we are vetting. If you have any information, feel free to contact us. We’ll check back in as more information becomes available.