SPD names officers who shot armed man with dementia

SPD names officers who shot armed man with dementia

Victim Henry Lee Sr.'s home near S. Bangor Street and Renton Avenue South.

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 25 at 11:44 AM

Seattle Police identified the two officers who shot and killed a 77-year-old armed man with dementia at his home Sunday night.

Officer Daina Boggs and Officer Nathan Patterson fired at Henry Lee Sr. when he refused to put his gun down, according to Deputy Chief Nick Metz.

Boggs fired two rounds at Lee and Patterson fired one round, Metz said. Lee was shot once and pronounced dead at the scene.

Boggs is a 19-year veteran of SPD. Patterson is a 7-year veteran. Both are assigned to the South Precinct and were placed on administrative reassignment.

SPD will conduct an internal investigation with the department's firearms review board. Evidence is also being gathered for any future inquests.

Additional details about what happened before the shooting were revealed at a press conference Tuesday.

The encounter between Lee and the officers took only a matter of seconds, Metz said, however, the incident that led up to the shooting took place a few hours before.

Officers said the initial call that brought police and fire to Lee's neighborhood was an abandoned car, left running with its door's open at the corner of South Bangor Street and Renton Avenue South around 8:15 p.m.

SPD and Seattle Fire authorities searched for a passenger, believed to be having a medical emergency, but were unable to immediately find him.

More than two hours later, he was located, apparently in distress, according to Metz, and only wearing one shoe.

At about the same time, medical alert service dispatchers received their first call from Lee.

Metz said Lee told the dispatcher he heard a prowler, had a gun and if anyone tried to come into his home he would kill them.

Metz said all communications between the medical alert service and 911 were relayed to SPD, but that there was no direct communication.

Advised by 911, the medical dispatchers told Lee to put his gun away, but Lee refused, according to Metz.

In addition, there was no mention made by the medical alert service to SPD about Lee's dementia or health concerns, Metz said.

When officers approached Lee's door, knowing he was armed, Metz said they asked to see his hands and then repeatedly to put the gun down.

"At least five-plus people heard the officers' warnings loud and clear," said Metz.

Lee was described as lowering his hands, then raising the gun again, to which Officer Boggs and Officer Patterson responded with gunfire, Metz said.

Metz noted the shoe missing from the man in distress was later found on Lee's doorstep.

Seattle Police Chief John Diaz said he has had direct contact with Lee's family, but will be contacting them soon to express his condolences.

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