The man with a rifle fatally shot by Seattle Police early on the Friday after Thanksgiving on 22nd Ave E was a 51-year-old who may have become aggravated over a money dispute, neighbors of the man told CHS.
Tracie Mohnkern, who has lived for four years in the Elizabeth James House where the shooting occurred, told CHS that she and the suspect had been dating since July. Mohnkern said that her boyfriend would frequently lend cash to others and that the initial dispute early Friday morning may have been over money.
The suspect, who has not yet been identified by authorities, was also believed to be a former Russian police officer though CHS has been unable to confirm his past employment.
“He was a good guy,” Mohnkern said. “People always went to him for money.”
Police have identified the patrol officer who shot and killed the man as Officer Brad Devore, a two-year member of the department who works in the East Precinct. Devore is on paid administrative leave per department policy. A County inquest into the incident will likely follow. Earlier this year, King County officials announced a fact-finding hearing to examine this summer’s fatal shooting of an armed, mentally ill suspect inside a Bellevue Ave condo building.
In the most recent incident, police responded to a call at 4 AM Friday that a man was threatening people with a rifle in the 23rd and John building. When officers arrived, they found an upset woman who said the suspect had threatened to kill her, according to the SPD report on the incident. The suspect allegedly fired his weapon once prompting an officer to return fire, killing the suspect. The report said the relationship between the woman and alleged shooter was unclear. Mohnkern said she was not the woman in the report.
Mohnkern told CHS that her boyfriend had some type of disability but she said he refused to tell her any details about it. The Elizabeth James House is a Capitol Hill Housing building for elderly and disabled residents. A Capitol Hill Housing representative confirmed that the man who died was a resident of the building but could not comment on the nature of his disability. UPDATE: “We are devastated by the tragic events that unfolded early Friday morning,” Capitol Hill Housing CEO Christopher Persons said in a statement. “Our staff is striving to help residents who have been impacted by this incident.” Representatives of Sound Mental Health have been scheduled for a group grief and loss session and are available to meet with residents individually, according to the CHH statement.
Mohnkern told CHS she believed the suspect was mentally stable and held no resentment towards law enforcement. She also said he drank frequently but that he was sober the night of his death.
Another resident, who lives on the same side of the building as the suspect did, said he heard a gunshot from his window around 4 AM. He told CHS he then heard a woman yell, “You’ve got a gun?” followed by pleas of “Don’t shoot me” before the woman ran outside into the parking lot. The resident said he then heard a man say, “Don’t move too fast or I’ll kill you,” followed by a loud boom.
The neighbor said the suspect wasn’t perceived as a threat and could often be found tending the local community garden.
“It was just horrendous,” the resident said. “We were all in shock.”