King County inquest opens in deadly shooting of Des Moines teen

DES MOINES, Wash. — Editor's note: The story orginally said the teen was shot by Des Moines police. This was incorrect. He was actually shot by King County deputies.

Alexis Dunlap described the chaotic scene in January when her son, 17-year-old Mi'Chance Dunlap-Gittens, was shot dead by King County deputies.

They were trying to solve a homicide that happened in Sammamish, some 35 miles away. The investigation led the officers to the Des Moines home where Dunlap and her son lived.  The teenager they were looking for was there, too.

"To have helicopters and SWAT and K-9," said Dunlap, "and so many officers and a ruse to question a 16-year-old kid, that wasn't my kid. But you ended up at my house. And my son ended up dead. It's not making sense."

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It doesn't make sense to Mi'Chance's father either.

"This plan, we felt, was real shoddy," said Frank Gittens. "And then they find out, after the fact, after they kill our son, that he wasn't even involved in the particular situation."

During Monday's inquest session, the King County Sheriff's Office undercover detective who planned the takedown of the teenage suspect described how it went wrong.

"We don't quite know who shot who," said Detective Michael Garske. "If anybody, if any police officers are shot. "Who's the guy running? Who's the guy on the ground?""

The judge ordered news crews not to show the undercover detective's face and to alter his voice to protect his identity.

The King County Sheriff's Office said when this happened, both teenagers were armed. And one of them opened fire.

The teenager they were actually looking for that night is scheduled to testify Tuesday.