Seattle police release officer interviews, photo of Lyles' knife

KING 5's Lori Matsukawa reports.

If you are viewing in the KING 5 app, click here.

Seattle police released on Friday interview transcripts with the two officers who shot and killed Charleena Lyles and a diagram of the crime scene.

Seattle police also released photos of the knife police say she was holding as well as a second knife found in her pocket.  There were several other knives in Lyles’ home.

CSI produced crime scene diagram of scene

Officers were responding to a reported burglary at Lyles' apartment in the Sand Point neighborhood on Sunday, June 18. When they arrived, the officers claimed she confronted them with a knife.

The diagram of scene shows where Officer Steven McNew was standing in the kitchen and where Lyles was standing when she pulled out a knife.

Related: Police release more hallway video, 911 call in shooting

Officer McNew said Lyles' expression changed and he feared he was going to throw the knife at him, so he ducked and began calling for backup.

When he stood up again, he said he saw Lyles moving toward the door. Outside the door was Officer Jason Anderson.

Meanwhile, Officer Anderson said he saw Lyles pull a knife from her pocket: "I notice uh that her hand starts moving and I see a flash of a, a knife. The, the blade of the knife uh was coming right at my stomach uh, she was approximately within 3 feet of me. Um, uh I remember saying "What the" as I was jumping back uh kind of sucking my abdomen in trying to avoid getting stabbed in the stomach."

McNew shouted from the kitchen to taser her, but Anderson said he didn't have one. 

Anderson said he saw Lyles turn her attention to McNew, who was trapped in the kitchen, "and that's when I shot."

McNew shouted from the kitchen to taser her, but Anderson said he didn't have one.

Anderson said he saw Lyles turn her attention to McNew, who was trapped in the kitchen, "and that's when I shot."

Officer McNew said: "So, she had these knives and she gets into that gap and then I realize where I'm at and I'm stuck in a kitchen where I've got 2 feet behind me and there's nowhere to go and I, I knew she was talking and I thought she said, "Come on" or something like that and she starts closing that gap to where she's gonna cut off my, my avenue of escape and now I'm 3 feet from someone with 2 knives. And at that point fearing for what was about to happen, what she would do to me um, being stuck in that spot, I fired my handgun."

In the interview, Officer Anderson explained why he didn't have a taser. He said he had stopped using it two and a half weeks before because the battery was dead. Instead, he carried pepper spray and a baton.

When asked as to why they did not call for a third officer with a taser before making contact, Anderson said "we’re responding to a burglary call that, you know, is a one officer call, but, uh, just because of the… caution, I thought it’d be good to have an extra officer."

When asked if he had a taser would you have used it, he answered no.  "We didn’t have any... There was no... shielding between us and her with the knife, um.. uh.. and.. based on her actions, uh, I would not have.  That’s not what I would’ve, uh, gone." (Based on) "uh, trying to stab me with a knife when I was standing very close to her."

McNew and Anderson are on paid administrative leave while police investigate the incident, per department protocol.

Interview transcripts with officers:
Transcript of Officer Steven McNew
Transcript of Officer Jason Anderson Part 1
Transcript of Officer Jason Anderson Part 2
Transcript of Officer Jason Anderson Part 3


KING 5's Danielle Schrader, Allison Sundell and Liza Javier contributed to this report.

© 2017 KING-TV


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment