SEATTLE — Authorities shared new details on Monday’s deputy-involved shooting in Ballard on Tuesday.
The King County Medical Examiner says the tenant who was being evicted, 29-year-old Eucytus, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Meanwhile, Deputy David Easterly, who was shot in the melee, remains in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center.
This shooting happened nearly 39 years after a King County deputy was killed while serving an eviction notice.
On March 27, 1984, a King County detective was killed while doing what deputies were trying to do in Ballard on Monday.
Now plywood covers the door where this latest violence happened.
It brought back sad memories for former King County Sheriff Sue Rahr.
It’s been nearly 40 years, but Sue Rahr vividly remembers the day 38-year-old Detective Michael Raburn was stabbed to death as he tried to serve an eviction notice at Yesler Terrace.
“Even though most evictions are carried out without any kind of violence ... when they do turn bad, they turn really bad,” said Rahr.
It certainly turned bad in Ballard Monday. Three veteran King County Sheriff’s deputies, Easterly, Benjamin Wheeler and Benjamin Miller, came to the Gilman Park Apartments to serve an eviction notice when gunfire erupted.
Investigators say all three deputies likely returned fire. The person they were trying to serve died by suicide, according to the King County Medical Examiner.
Deputy Easterly was critically injured.
“Yesterday, when he was being brought into the hospital, we were told by other deputies that he was actually in pretty good spirits because he’s a fairly happy guy,” said Meeghan Black, spokeswoman for the Independent Force Investigation Team King County. “And he was, you know, talking to them. But, of course, he went in for an extensive surgery. So, our thoughts are with him and his family.”
Rahr says it is a sad reminder of one truism.
“There is no such thing as a routine call in police work,” she said. “The legal process is routine. Carrying out an eviction is anything but routine.”
Now all three deputies, each with more than two decades of service, are on paid administrative leave, pending the investigation.
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