A man who authorities say was fatally shot by two Washington State Patrol troopers after stopping his pickup in the middle of the Ship Canal Bridge on Monday has been identified as Jonathan K. Whitehead.
Whitehead, 33, died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Little is known about Whitehead. His last address was in Marysville and he was cited with several traffic infractions, including operating a vehicle without insurance, in August and December 2012. He doesn’t appear to have had a criminal record in Washington state.
Seattle police, who are leading the investigation, have not released any details about Whitehead or why they think he behaved so erratically before he was shot. “We have nothing new and will likely not have anything new for some time,” Seattle police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb wrote in an email.
A Mount Vernon man who is related to Whitehead declined to comment when reached by phone on Wednesday.
The troopers who opened fire on Whitehead, Andrew Boyer and Christopher Kyle, remain on administrative leave while the case is investigated.
Boyer and Kyle, both 29, and a state Department of Transportation employee were dispatched to the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 at the Ship Canal just before 7 p.m. on Monday for a report of a man acting erratically and setting his pickup on fire. Whitehead confronted one of the two troopers with a knife and was shot with a Taser, the State Patrol said.
When the Taser did not work on the man, Boyer and Kyle opened fire, the State Patrol said.