Two stepbrothers in Olympia who were shot by police in 2015 have been found guilty of assaulting an officer.
A jury on Thursday found Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin guilty of third-degree assault after a trial that lasted for weeks.
Fast facts in case:
- Officer who shot two stepbrothers in Olympia will not face criminal charges
- Stepbrothers, 21 and 24, shot by Olympia officer on May 21, 2015
- Officer who was called to report of theft and assault at Safeway says he feared for his life
- Stepbrothers' lawyer says they were trying to get away from officer
- Jury found brothers guilty of assault against officer
Officer Ryan Donald shot Thompson and Chaplin on May 21, 2015, on Cooper Point Road while responding to a report of beer stolen and an employee assaulted at a nearby Safeway supermarket.
Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim announced in 2015 that charges would not be filed against Donald because the shooting did not stem from the theft, but from the threat of assault when the officer approached the men.
Donald told investigators that when he encountered the two men, Thompson, 24, grabbed him and tried to overpower him while Chaplin, 21, came at him with a skateboard raised over his head.
The prosecutor said the officer believed that he was at serious risk because the skateboard could have been used for deadly force under the legal definition. Tunheim said the shooting of the stepbrothers was consistent with the officer's account.
“Basically he was holding me there so his friend could assault me with the skateboard,” Donald said in the report. Donald told investigators that he fired the first shots at Chaplin, who ran away. He told investigators that the two came back seconds later and Thompson came at him.
“He was coming toward me again," Donald said. "I had no doubt in my mind that he was going to try and hit me in the head with the skateboard.”
Donald said he fired and Thompson went down.
Donald said an unarmed Chaplin rushed toward him, angry that his stepbrother had been injured. Donald said he fired and Chaplin fell to the pavement.
Both men were injured but survived. Chaplin is in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the shooting.
Tunheim said no one was shot in the back.
David Beninger, the attorney for the stepbrothers, said the two never attacked the officer, and were instead trying to get away from him.
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