Man shot, arrested in investigation of officer's murder

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by KING5.com Staff

KING5.com

Posted on November 6, 2009 at 4:39 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 1 at 8:27 PM

Suspect arrested in killing of Seattle Police officer

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TUKWILA, Wash. – A person of interest in the shooting death of Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton has been shot in the head by police this afternoon.

Sources say the person's name is Christopher J. Monfort.

The Seattle Times reports 41-year-old Monfort had recently been laid off as a security guard and had studied criminal justice at the University of Washington.

He does not seem to have a criminal history and only a few traffic tickets.

Also there may be a possible connection between the attack on Officer Brenton and the firebombings of Seattle Police cars on Oct. 22. At the arson scene, investigators found a note threatening to kill officers and fliers protesting police brutality.

Two other people connected to the case, also being called persons of interest, have also been detained.

The shooting and arrest happened at the Terrace Apartments in the 13700 block of 56th Avenue South at about 3:15 p.m. Mike Murphy of Tukwila police say officers went to the complex based on information from a citizen. When officers approached the man, he tried to run away. When he was boxed in, police say he produced a weapon. That's when officers opened fire and hit the man.

The Seattle Times, citing law enforcement sources, reports police traced the car to the apartment and were watching it for much of the day. When the man attempted to leave, that's when officers moved in. The Times reports the man ran up a stairwell, pulled a gun and tried to fire. For some reason, the gun did not go off.

KING 5 News has learned it was Seattle SWAT officers that initially made contact with the man. None of the officers were hit.

Video from the scene shows the suspect being placed face-first on the ground by police. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in critical condition.

About an hour after the shooting, Tukwila police said the person who was shot was a suspect in the Brenton shooting, but they later backtracked and said it was too early to call the man a suspect.

The King County Sheriff's Office is taking over the investigation of the shooting.

Interim Police Chief John Diaz tells The Seattle Times says a car found under a blue tarp at the apartment complex is the same Datsun 210 that police have been looking for in relation to the Brenton shooting.

Friday's arrest happened just minutes after a memorial service for Officer Brenton concluded at Seattle's KeyArena. Brenton was shot and killed Halloween night after a car pulled up next to his patrol car and someone shot him. His rookie partner, Officer Britt Sweeney, survived the shooting.

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