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Man shot and killed by Seattle Police on waterfront was Seattle U grad student

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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Nigel Senada
Nigel Senada
2 months ago

Mr. Wheeler writes “He needed help not bullets”. In the approximately 60 seconds police had from first seeing him with the knife to his charging them and being shot exactly what type of intervention were they supposed to have arranged ? Yes he clearly needed help days/months/years before the tragedy but people are constantly slipping through the cracks. What exactly did Mr. Wheeler do to assist his friend in the lead up ? Thankfully Mr. Hayden didn’t encounter a mother with a stroller or some such before he charged the cops.

Tom
Tom
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Senada

Taser? Shooting once in a non-fatal part of the body instead of raining bullets? See how police in other countries deal with mentally ill people.

R U Serious?
R U Serious?
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom

They tried to shoot him with a foam-tipped impact round from a non-lethal riot gun. It didn’t work. Reading comprehension is your friend. Once you learn it, you can read about how guns work and learn why ignoring the clearly stated use of non-lethal weapons is only the second stupidest part of your comment.

Tom
Tom
2 months ago
Reply to  R U Serious?

Lowlifes always think empathy is stupidity. So the cops didn’t have a taser. How hard did they really try before using lethal force? If he were a family member, wouldn’t they have tried harder?

People like to say our cops are the cream of the crop but whenever this kind of thing happened, shooting at a moving target is suddenly very hard. They weren’t hundreds of yards away from him. Again, police in other countries don’t treat the mentally ill this way. Why can’t America?

Exhausted CD Resident
Exhausted CD Resident
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Shooting at a moving target it very, very hard. People are taught to aim at the trunk because it’s the easiest target. Hitting a foot or an arm while someone is moving requires training and practice more becoming of a sharpshooter, which we all agree we don’t want cops to be. We don’t want to give police forces additional funding for things like training, remember? How often do think members of the SPD get funded trips to the gun range for target practice? Also, let’s give everyone (including cops) the benefit of considering that if someone is coming at them with a weapon and their life is at risk they aren’t too willing to die for their job, just like you and I aren’t.

Rabbit
Rabbit
2 months ago

Well said Tom, and a very sharp contrast to an article that is lacking many of the needed facts that would present a better more compassionate picture of Hayden and the officer. On a side note It almost seems as though there is a possibility that the he was attempting suicide by cop.

jonc
jonc
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Senada

A mother with a stroller isn’t armed with a gun and yelling commands at the man. A mental health professional would be better suited for the situation.

Ragnar
Ragnar
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Senada

Nigel, you are an internet troll and haven’t a clue what you’re talking about! I watched the video of the SPD’s body cams. It was less than 10 seconds after they got outta their car to straight using deadly force and executing Derek. A taser or shooting at his legs make much more sense, not rubber bullets that are for crowd control and just piss someone off more already in a crisis.
And how dare you question what Mr Wheeler or any other friends did to help Derek with his problems, suggesting they were a part of this outcome! Get your own life in order and stop picking apart others!

Phil Mocek
2 months ago

“Derek Hayden’s death was the result of an officer-involved killing,” wrote Seattle University president Stephen Sundborg, addressing criticism that his school’s early messaging didn’t recognize the cop’s role of perpetrator in the homicide of their student by completely avoiding acknowledgment of the cop’s role in the homicide.

Shuffles
Shuffles
2 months ago

Sad to see gyms that respect people’s health and safety closing. Meanwhile, other gyms that completely disregard health and safety (F45 gym on 11th) are open and host overcapacity workouts with 15+ people maskless in a tiny room and even hosted secret workout behind their covered up windows during lockdowns.

Rabbit
Rabbit
2 months ago
Reply to  Shuffles

?