September 24, 2012 at 9:11 AM
Man shot by Seattle police had dementia, says family
The man shot and killed at a South Seattle home late last night was identified by family members this morning as Henry Lee Sr., and they say he suffered from dementia.
A son, Henry Lee Jr., said his father suffered from dementia “and other illnesses.” A grandson said his grandfather suffered from Alzheimer’s.
Records show the elder Lee was 77 years old.
“We’re grieving,” Lee Jr. said.
He said police haven’t told his family much, and he and his sister want to get to the bottom of things.
The man who was shot, believed to be the elder Lee, had called 911 around 11 p.m. to report hearing noises, possibly “a prowler,” said police spokesman Mark Jamieson.
The man repeatedly told dispatchers that “I’ve got a gun I’m not afraid to use it,” Jamieson said.
Dispatchers told the man that the noises he was hearing might be coming from out in front of his house, in the 6300 block of South Bangor Street, where Seattle police and Seattle Fire Department medics were responding to an unrelated medical emergency in a parked car.
Dispatchers told the man they would have police come talk to him.
“He was very, very agitated, very upset,” Jamieson said.
Hearing that the man was armed and apparently upset, two additional officers made their way to the man’s house. Three officers went to the man’s doorstep to talk to him.
“He answered with a gun in hand,” Jamieson said. “Officers said ’drop the weapon, drop the weapon, drop the weapon,’ numerous times.”
The man then ”raised the gun, pointed at cops and two officers fired,” Jamieson said.
The man was pronounced dead near the doorway of his home, Jamieson said.
Police are continuing to investigate. The two officers who opened fire are on administrative leave.
Gabriel Lee, Lee Sr.’s grandson, said his grandfather was a retired construction worker who lived alone. He said his father, Lee Jr., and his aunt went to the shooting scene last night and spoke with police.
Gabriel Lee said his grandfather’s memory-related illnesses became more pronounced over the past three years.
“He was still competent, but he was really forgetful,” Gabriel Lee said. “He used to have a lot of guns, but my dad took most of them away.”
Gabriel Lee said his grandfather was always good to his family.
“He was always nice to me,” the grandson said. “He took me fishing when I was kid.”
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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