Police open criminal investigation into officer-involved shooting in Eastlake
SEATTLE -- Seattle police detectives have launched a criminal investigation into an officer-involved shooting that happened in the Eastlake neighborhood on Sunday.
Officers were called to the 2200 block of Yale Avenue East for a report of suspicious activity. Neighbors told KOMO Wednesday that they saw someone in a black Subaru smoking drugs and possibly loading a gun.
According to video footage released by SPD on Tuesday night, officers can be seen driving into the alley just after 7:30 p.m. An unidentified person moved toward the car and armed officers rushed forward yelling commands.
The footage shows the car lurching toward officers who jumped out of the way. Multiple shots were fired as the Subaru drives away.
WATCH: SPD video from October 8, 2017:
“I was sitting at my desk across the street and I heard some shots so I got on the ground,” one neighbor told KOMO.
Najela Shamah, a graphic designer, said the gunfire blasted just outside her window.
“I only heard six or seven shots because after that I didn’t want to hear anymore. I was like mentally I just stopped listening,” Shamah said.
The department identified the officers involved in the gunfire as Kenneth Martin and Tabitha Sexton. Both are on administrative leave.
Two law enforcement sources told KOMO that the criminal investigations bureau is looking into the shooting for possible violations of the department’s use of force policy. Another source said the King County Prosecutor’s Office was consulted after the shooting for possible criminal wrongdoing by police.
The case is expected to be reviewed by prosecutors.
One source said the case review is simply being done out of an abundance of caution.
SPD’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) and the Force Investigation Team are also looking into the shooting.
The Subaru Impreza was found in North Seattle, and a source said a small amount of blood was found inside it. Police are still looking for the people who were inside the car when the shooting occurred.
On Wednesday morning, people living near the alley where the gunfire broke out were gathered to talk about what they knew. A regular stream of neighbors stopped at the door to Shamah’s building where bullets struck. The letters “A, B, C, D” could be seen written on the wall above what appeared to be bullet damage.
“I was just afraid. I was just really afraid,” Shamah recalled.
Shamah said that she had her windows open and listened to the round after round of gunfire. She said she was petrified, worried that a “Las Vegas-style” mass shooting was occurring outside her home.
On Wednesday morning, she watched the shooting videos posted on SPD’s website.
“After seeing the videos I was like ‘wow, that was a lot’ and the people still got away,” Shamah said.
Shamah praised police for sending an officer door to door in her apartment building Sunday night, but said they offered neighbors very few answers.