The 44-year-old man shot and killed in the second police killing in one week last month in Seattle was a graduate student at Seattle University, the school announced.
Derek Hayden was shot and killed by police the night of Tuesday, February 16th on the waterfront.
Police say they were responding to reports of a man armed with a knife reportedly trying to harm himself during a mental crisis around 9:20 PM on Alaskan Way and Seneca when officers opened fire and killed the man. “Police approached the man and attempted to use a less lethal tool, but the device was ineffective,” police said.
The incident was the Seattle Police Department’s second deadly shooting in February. A week earlier, officers opened fire and killed 45-year-old Gregory Taylor after the suspect shot two people in a parking lot outside the Central District’s Northwest African American Museum and Urban League Village apartments.
Taylor’s 23-year-old victim Anais Valencia died at the scene and her friend was rushed to the hospital.
In its announcements about Hayden, Seattle University responded to criticism about its initial messaging around his death which did not acknowledge SPD’s role in the deadly shooting.
“In this instance I believe we should have—and could have—addressed what happened based on what we know from media reports,” Seattle U president Father Stephen Sundborg said in a message to the campus. “Derek Hayden’s death was the result of an officer-involved killing that is being investigated further. It is clear from the reports that he was in a mental health crisis.”
Hayden’s death, Sundborg said, “underscores the need for additional and more equitable resources to address mental health issues and the need for more serious consideration of changes in responding to such situations to prevent them from happening in the future.”
Two officers involved in Hayden’s death were placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
Sundborg is set to step down at the end of this school year as president at the private Jesuit university serving around 7,000 students from its campus on the south end of Capitol Hill. He will be replaced by Eduardo Peñalver, previously dean of Cornell Law School and a Puyallup native, and the first layperson to take the helm since the school was founded in 1891.
A friend posting about Hayden described him as a “computer whiz” and lamented SPD’s decision to use deadly force: “He was not a violent man, not a criminal. But like so many of us, he was hurting and suicidal. He needed help not bullets.”
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