A long-awaited report on the shooting death of an Edmonds man last year reveals that the Snohomish County deputy who fired the fatal shot used excessive force.
The Peters family is broken.
"Nick was the glue to our family,” Nick Peters' his sister Lyndsay said.
"Nick was special,” his mother, Jayne Peters, said.
"Our whole life revolved around him,” his father, Mike Peters, said.
But they're hoping the details inside a more than 800-page report resulting in the firing of a Snohomish County deputy will keep another family whole.
"It can't happen to other people, it needs to stop. It's wrong,” Mike Peters said.
From inside their attorney's office in downtown Seattle, the Peters described how kind-hearted, outgoing and athletic Nick Peters was. They said they've known all along what the report concluded: there was no reason the 24-year-old should have been shot to death by Deputy Art Wallin when he fled a traffic stop last October.
KIRO 7 spoke with Nick Peters' girlfriend, the passenger in the vehicle, about a month after the shooting.
"Next thing I know they shoot him with his hands up,” Britt Jacobsen said.
Even before the final report was issued earlier this month the Peters and their attorney, Jeff Campiche, filed a civil rights wrongful death suit in U.S. district Court against Snohomish County and Wallin.
“We need law enforcement that appreciates the value of human life and understands that when our young people commit a crime they should be arrested and punished but they shouldn't be killed,” Campiche said.
He also said he gives credit where credit is due; the Snohomish County sheriff wrote his response to now-former deputy Wallin after the investigation was complete.
Over nine pages the sheriff reviewed the details of the inciden t-- the inconsistencies and missteps by Wallin that led to his termination.
Sheriff Ty Trenary wrote, “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.”
“That is what the public requires and that's what the Sheriff's Office provided,” Campiche said.
The family is appreciative of that, but says a thorough investigation and a vindicating report aren't a time machine.
"It doesn't change what happened -- Nick never gets to come back from this,” Peters said.
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