Nov. 22, 2011
Inquest ordered into fatal police shooting of a homicide suspect in Seattle’s Belltown
Fact-finding hearing is routine to determine causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of law enforcement while in performance of duties
King County Executive Dow Constantine today ordered an inquest into the shooting death of Eric Blaine Evans by a Seattle Police homicide detective on October 23, 2011.
Police identified the 46-year old Evans as a suspect in the stabbing death of an 84-year old man at an Interbay self-storage facility. Police say two homicide detectives located Evans at Fourth and Cedar in Belltown, and that he was fatally shot when he tried to grab a detective's drawn handgun.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg recommended the inquest after his office reviewed materials from the King County Sheriff's Office, which conducted the investigation.
Inquests are fact-finding hearings conducted before a six-member jury. Under a standing Executive Order they are routinely called to determine the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of any law enforcement agency within King County while in the performance of his or her duties.
Inquests provide transparency into law enforcement actions so the public may have all the facts established in a court of law. The ordering of an inquest should carry no other implication. Inquest jurors answer a series of interrogatories to determine the significant factual issues involved in the case, and it is not their purpose to determine whether any person or agency is civilly or criminally liable.
The order signed by the Executive requests King County District Court Presiding Judge Barbara Linde to assign a judge to set a date and conduct the inquest.
The ordering of inquests is a function vested in the county executive under the King County Code.
Read the Executive Order on Conducting Inquests in King County at: www.kingcounty.gov/operations/policies/executive/publicaeo/phl711aeo