911 tapes released in fatal officer-involved shooting in Seattle

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 28 at 6:34 PM

The man involved in a hostage situation with his father in Seattle's Carkeek Park Tuesday has died after being shot by police.

During a news conference Thursday, the Seattle Police Department shared more details about the events that lead up to the shooting, including 911 audio tapes and photos from the February 26 incident.

(The 911 calls can be downloaded here and here. SPD radio traffic prior to the incident can be heard here. Warning: language may contain profanity)

Police say around 7:30 p.m., police received 911 calls from two brothers who said their brother was holding a knife to their father's throat at his home in North Seattle, describing it as a "hostage" situation.

When officers arrived at the home in the 400 block of NW 100th Place, the suspect, identified by police as Jack Keewatinawin, 21, came out of the house appearing "highly agitated." Keewatinawin's father then came out, and Keewatinawin appeared to use his father as a human shield.

"At the same time, the father relayed to the officers that his son was armed with a knife and a steel pipe," said Seattle Police Deputy Chief Nick Metz.

Keewatinawin tried to flee the scene, and officers gave chase. Metz said officers tried to talk with him and attempted to use a taser twice, but were unsuccessful in stopping him.

As police continued to pursue Keewatinawin, he stopped and threatened one of the officers, who had slipped and fallen to the ground, with a metal rod. At that point, the three officers fired in what they said was self defense.

Keewatinawin was transported to Harborview Medical Center, where he later died from his gunshot wounds.

Some of his neighbors believe the shooting was not justified. Courtney Lewis, who lives next door, says Keewatinawin was like a kid, harmless when he was on medication.

"They killed him, in front of his dad," said Lewis. "They didn't help him. He cried for help after they shot him."

Police said they later retrieved three weapons from Keewatinawin's person: an 18-inch metal rebar, a 6-inch stone that had been sharpened, and a bone handled knife.

All three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure following any officer-involved shooting. They are Officer Michael Spaulding, Officer Stephen Sperry, and Officer Tyler Speer. Only Sperry had been through critical incident training, which helps police deal with situations like hostage crises and the mentally ill. SPD is in the process of training all its officers under an agreement with the Department of Justice. 

The case remains an active and on-going investigation.


 

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