Of the 118 police officers killed in the line of duty last year, 66 were felonious slayings and four of those officers were “killed intentionally with vehicles,” the FBI reported Monday.
That just might add a new perspective to a story involving Seattle police that has been unfolding since last week. Two SPD officers opened fire on what was a reported stolen car when the driver allegedly tried to run down one officer from where it was parked in an alley, according to an account in the Seattle P-I.com.
Not all cops killed in the line of duty are the victims of gunshot wounds. Last year, 64 men and two women made up the roster of fallen officers who died from “felonious” actions, according to the FBI data, found in the annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) report.
By no small irony, Seattle police use-of-force incidents have been monitored by federal authorities over the past couple of years.
The two suspects in last week’s incident have been arrested and charged, the online newspaper reported. They are identified as a mother and son, Wendy Lee, 46, and Joshua Brooks, 20. The Oct. 8 shooting got headlines, and may get more due to some interesting details.
Both mother and son were wanted. Brooks had two warrants for auto theft and Lee is reportedly tied to an assault on a police officer.
The car they were allegedly in was found the next day in a parking lot at the north end of the city, from whence another car had reportedly been stolen. That car was found later the same day in Everett, near the home of Brooks’ brother, the P-I.com reported.
Lee and Brooks were arrested in Everett last Friday, and Brooks was reportedly taken to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center for treatment of two gunshot wounds in his lower left back.
Officers Kenneth Martin – who was nearly run over as can be seen in a video of the incident – and Tabitha Sexton both fired at the fleeing vehicle. Under state statute that has existed for decades, Evergreen State law enforcement officers have the authority to use lethal force under certain circumstances that are spelled out.
The FBI’s LEOKA report noted that half of the law enforcement officers killed last year in accidents died in auto mishaps. Vehicle accidents are as non-discriminatory as bullets when it comes to dying on the job while wearing a badge.
But what happened last week was apparently no accident. Being deliberately run down is as fatal as being deliberately shot, as the deaths of those four unidentified officers last year attest.
Body cam video of the shooting has been posted on YouTube by Police Network.