A suspect was shot to death Monday night after Seattle police said he produced a handgun in a struggle with officers.
Family members identified the man as 36-year-old Iosia Faletogo.
The incident began shortly after 5 p.m. when North Precinct patrol officers stopped a driver going north on Aurora Avenue North at North 96th Street.
“The suspect stopped his car, but then immediately got out and ran away,” police said in an unnamed statement. “The three officers present during the traffic stop chased after him.”
The suspect crossed Aurora’s southbound lanes, but the officers caught up to him just west of Aurora, police said.
“The suspect and the officers engaged in a physical struggle, and the suspect produced a handgun,” the statement read. “One officer drew his own handgun, and shot the suspect.
“Officers provided first aid to the wounded suspect and called for Seattle Fire Department medics. SFD medics arrived and declared the suspect deceased at the scene. Detectives recovered the suspect’s handgun.”
Detectives responded to the scene to interview witnesses and to search for forensic evidence. Detectives planned to search the suspect’s car after obtaining a search warrant.
“Per SPD policy, designed in collaboration with the Department of Justice, detectives were joined on scene with representatives from the Office of Police Accountability and the Office of the Inspector General,” the statement read.
The officer involved in the shooting is expected to be placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard in such cases.
Police said information in the statement was preliminary and subject to change as the investigation proceeds.
KIRO 7 spoke with the suspect's mother and uncle, who were planning a vigil at the shooting scene Tuesday at 4 p.m. They said Faletogo was supposed to be on his way to a New Year's Eve family dinner when he was shot.
Faletogo is the father of two young children.
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