King County Executive Dow Constantine has ordered an inquest into the fatal officer-involved shooting of a man who threatened police with a pellet gun in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood in July.
Austin J. Derby, 36, was fatally shot by a Seattle police officer after he pointed a gun at police on July 1 following a chase that started in Tacoma and ended when he crashed a truck in Beacon Hill, according to the Seattle Police Department.
Derby ran from the truck after it crashed ear Swift Avenue and South Eddy Street and hid behind a shed. When police located Derby, he told approaching officers, “I’ve got a pistol, too.”
An officer fired when Derby pointed the firearm at him, police said. Derby was pronounced dead at Harborview Medical Center.
Police learned later that he was carrying a realistic-looking pellet gun.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office recommended the inquest after reviewing materials from the police department, which conducted the investigation.
Inquests are fact-finding hearings before a six-member jury to determine the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of any law enforcement agency in King County. Jurors answer a series of interrogatories to determine the significant factual issues involved in the case, and it is not their purpose to determine whether any person or agency is civilly or criminally liable.