Deputies shot, killed man with pen in hand in Burien
BURIEN, Wash. - The 20-year-old man deputies fatally shot in Burien last week was advancing on authorities with a pen, according to newly released information from the King County Sheriff's Office on Friday.
However, deputies said they were unclear what was in his hand before they fired shots. He reportedly attacked people in his neighborhood with a knife earlier that night, reports indicate.
Several people called 911 about midnight June 13, reporting a man with a knife and gunfire. Callers claimed the man was shouting, "I am the Creator" and "I am the killer" while trying to stab people.
Ten patrol units went to the 13600 block of Third Avenue South, where several people stood in the front yard of a house and on the street, according to the Sheriff's Office.
One person was reportedly attacked with a knife and ran to his friend's house, where he grabbed a pistol and went outside again. The attacker, later identified as Tommy Le, came after the homeowner, so the person with the pistol fired a round into the ground to try to stop the assailant from advancing.
The gunfire didn't work. Le allegedly lunged at people with a knife and the homeowner retreated to his house to call 911 as the man stabbed at the front door, the Sheriff's Office says. No one was hurt.
While deputies investigated the incident, one of the alleged victims pointed out Le as the assailant, who was about half a block away and walking down the street toward the officers and residents with something in his hand, reports say.
Two deputies -- Cesar Molina and Tanner Owens -- confronted him and ordered him to drop whatever was in his hand, according to the Sheriff's Office. Le continued to advance, however, prompting the deputies to back away and circle around him. The deputies then both used their Tasers, which had no effect.
As Le continued to approach the deputies, Molina fired several times, knocking Le to the ground.
Deputies offered first aid and medics took Le to Harborview Medical Center, but he was declared dead at the hospital.
Investigators learned the object in Le's hand at the time of the shooting was a pen.
Le lived around the corner from the site of the attacks. Detectives served a search warrant on his home and seized some knives to see whether any of them was used in the initial assault.
Molina, 38, has been with the King County Sheriff's Office for 2½ years and previously worked for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
The shooting will undergo an internal review and an independent inquest by the county, as well as other investigations. Sheriff John Urquhart will then forward all reviews to the FBI.
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