SEATTLE — At 38 years old, Seattle Officer Alexandra "Lexi" Harris was on an endless road of self-improvement.
Bellevue Officer Craig Hanaumi trained with Harris in jiu jitsu.
"Like the leader that she was, she was trying to better herself as an officer and a person," Hanaumi said.
Harris came to law enforcement after a career in the fitness industry.
"When she started training a few years ago I could tell that she was going to do great because of her work ethic, her humility," Hanaumi said. "She was surrounded by great people to help her and guide her in the art."
Early Sunday morning, Harris, a West Precinct officer, was on her way home from work when state troopers say she stopped to assist with one of two crashes on I-5. Moments later she was hit and killed by a passing vehicle.
Troopers say a driver involved in one of those crashes stole Harris' personal vehicle and fled the scene before state troopers arrived. The vehicle was found abandoned Sunday morning and is being held for evidence. The Washington State Patrol is asking anyone with information to call 425-401-7742.
"Our chief sent out a departmental email about her dying and I had to re-read it a bunch of times because it's hard to believe," Hanaumi said. "Knowing who she is. Just to be honest, how strong she is - physically and mentally - it's just unbelievable."
Harris grew up in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood. She was engaged to be married.
Also known as "Lexi," a statement from her family said her sudden death "is a shock and leaves a hole in the fabric of the lives of her family and friends."
"Lexi was a dedicated Seattle police officer who loved her work and was committed to bringing her considerable thoughtfulness and vision to the challenges of serving the community through compassionate policing. She also was a daughter, sister, a partner and 'mother-by-choice' and for whom family was paramount," the statement reads.