Family of man shot and killed by Snohomish County Deputy settles lawsuit for $1 million

The family of an Edmonds man who was fatally shot by a Snohomish County deputy in 2018 has agreed to settle their federal civil rights lawsuit for $1 million, their lawyers announced Friday.

Nickolas Peters, 24, was shot and by Deputy Art Wallin on Oct. 23, 2018, near Bothell. Weeks after the shooting, Peters’ girlfriend, Britt Jacobsen, spoke to KIRO 7 about the night Peters was killed.

Jacobsen was a passenger in the vehicle when she says Peters refused to stop during a traffic stop. A deputy tried the pursuit intervention technique, or pit maneuver, and eventually two deputies pinned in the truck so it couldn’t move.

Jacobsen says a deputy stood on the hood of the F-150 truck and shined a light in on them. According to the search warrant, another deputy stood on the passenger side.

She said the deputies ordered them to put their hands up and get out of the car. She said she and Peters put up their hands. She said she watched the deputy shoot Peters. Next, she said she was dragged out of the car by her hair, forced to the ground and stomped on. Peters was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, where he died.

Jacobsen, the daughter of a retired Seattle Police Department officer, told KIRO 7 in 2018 that she didn’t understand why a deputy would climb on the hood of the truck, making himself vulnerable.

“(Nikolas) wasn’t a threat, we both weren’t a threat,” Jacobsen said. “I just cannot believe they took him away.”

In the fall, a report on the shooting was released and concluded that Wallin used excessive force. Wallin was fired by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department as a result of the report.

“The firing of Deputy Wallin and this 7-figure settlement removes any question regarding the wrongfulness of Deputy Walling’s deadly shooting of the Peters’ son, Nickolas,” the family’s attorney, Jeffery Campiche, said in a news release Friday.

In the report on the shooting, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary wrote about the inconsistencies and missteps by Wallin that led to his termination.

“The use of deadly force is to be done with great reservations and using it here, when the events do not appear to have warranted it, is more than just a regrettable mistake, it is a loss that cannot be undone,” Trenary said.

On Friday, Campiche gave credit to the Sheriff’s Department for its handling of the investigation, saying:

“The Snohomish County Sheriff’s investigation objectively established that Deputy Wallin’s shooting of Nickolas Peters violated the Sheriff’s Office written policies restricting an officer’s lawful use of deadly force, and is a testament to the integrity of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. The Snohomish County sheriff’s investigation and termination of Deputy Wallin is a shining example for other law enforcement agencies to follow. The Peters family will forever grieve the unnecessary and unlawful death of their son and pray for police restraint from using deadly force.”

A spokesperson for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department sent KIRO 7 the following statement:

“Given that the personnel portion of the October 2018 shooting is still being litigated (arbitration), Sheriff Fortney cannot comment on the settlement at this time. When the personnel portion of the investigation is settled, he will be making a comment.”

See our previous coverage on the shooting below: