Family says armed man shot, killed by SPD had dementia

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 6:37 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 1 at 2:50 AM

Two Seattle Police officers shot and killed a man who pointed a gun at officers late Sunday night, detectives said.

The victim, identified by family members as Henry Lee Sr., was 77-years-old, suffered from dementia and was disabled. He walked with a cane and had a prosthetic leg, his daughter said.

Police have not yet confirmed the victim's identity, but said the man was agitated and refused to put the gun down when confronted by police.

"The officers made several very loud commands to 'Drop the gun, drop the gun,'" said Seattle Police Deputy Chief Nick Metz.

"Everybody knows Hank," said his neighbor, Herb. "It's shocking."

Officers were called to the area by someone in Lee's house who used a medical alert service.

The caller stated he was concerned about an unrelated incident occurring on his block, near Renton Avenue South and South Bangor Street, and mentioned a prowler.

The medical alert dispatcher contacted Seattle Police, telling them the caller stated he was armed with a weapon and was not afraid to use it.

Three officers responded to Lee's house. Seattle Police spokesman Mark Jamieson said the victim met them at the door holding a gun.

Two of the three officers fired when the victim raised his gun at them, Metz said. He was declared dead at the scene.

Detectives from the Seattle Police Homicide and Assault Unit and the Crime Scene Investigation Unit are investigating. As with standard procedure, the officers involved will be placed on paid administrative leave.

While police have not confirmed the man suffered from Alzheimer's disease, the Alzheimer's Association of Washington said it's concerned with cases like these. They provide resources to help recognize the signs of dementia on their website. You can also call the Alzheimer's Disease helpline at 1-800-272-3900.

 

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