Inquest ordered in fatal shooting involving Tukwila Police

King County Executive Dow Constantine ordered an inquest into the August fatal shooting of Jeffrey J. Martelli by Tukwila Police officers.

King County Executive Dow Constantine ordered an inquest into the August fatal shooting of Jeffrey J. Martelli by Tukwila Police officers.

According to an investigation conducted by the Kent Police Department, Tukwila Police fatally shot Martelli after he refused to surrender and opened fire on officers with a shotgun.

At about 5:20 p.m. on Aug. 11, Martelli and another man got in an altercation at an apartment complex in the 5800 block of South 152 Place, according to the Tukwila Police Department. Martelli shot at the man, who had gotten out of his car, blowing out the window of the car and injuring the man, police reported.

Officers went to the apartment complex to find Martelli after the victim reported the shooting to police. Officers tried for about an hour to get Martelli to come out. Two officers fired at him, and he was hit and killed, according to Tukwila Police. No officers or bystanders were injured.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office recommended the inquest after reviewing materials provided by Kent Police Department, the County Executive’s Office said in a media release on Friday.

Inquests are fact-finding hearings conducted before a six-member jury. Under a standing executive order, inquests are convened to determine the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of any law enforcement agency within King County while performing his or her duty.

Inquests provide transparency into law enforcement actions so the public may have all the facts established in a court of law. The ordering of an inquest should carry no other implication, according to the release. Inquest 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.

The executive order requests King County District Court Presiding Judge Donna Tucker assign a judge to set a date and conduct the inquest.

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