Bothell, WA – The Bothell police officer who died in the line of duty after a gunman opened fire on his patrol vehicle during a traffic stop last week was killed by friendly fire, according to investigators.
The tragic incident began at approximately 9:40 p.m. on July 13, when Bothell Police Department (BPD) Officer Jonathan Shoop and his field training officer, BPD Officer Mustafa Kumcur, tried to pull over the driver of a black Pontiac G6 on Highway 522 westbound, The Daily Herald reported.
The suspect vehicle was traveling without a license plate or temporary tag affixed, according to The Seattle Times.
Officer Shoop was behind the wheel of the patrol vehicle, and Officer Kumcur was riding in the passenger seat.
The driver of the suspect vehicle, later identified as 37-year-old Henry Eugene Washington, refused to stop and led the officers on a brief pursuit, police said.
At one point during the chase, Washington allegedly crashed into a 20-year-old pedestrian who was riding a scooter in a crosswalk, The Daily Herald reported.
The Pontiac then barreled through the center median before stopping in the 10300-block of Woodinville Drive.
Washington got out of the car and began walking away, but turned back around when he spotted the police SUV approaching, The Seattle Times reported.
“Come on pig!” he said, according to witnesses.
Washington then allegedly walked up to the window of the patrol SUV and opened fire with a 9mm handgun, police said.
“According to video footage and witnesses, a male exited the Pontiac and walked towards the police SUV while firing a handgun at it,” the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART) said in a press release on July 14, according to KING.
Investigators said Washington fired two rounds, The Seattle Times reported.
One bullet shattered the driver’s side window of the patrol vehicle and traveled into the onboard police computer.
The second round glanced off of Officer Kumcur’s duty weapon and ricocheted against his head, leaving a deep graze wound, The Seattle Times reported.
As Officer Kumcur and Officer Shoop both returned fire, Officer Shoop became caught in the crossfire and was hit by one of his field training officer’s rounds, according to the SMART.
Washington fled the scene on foot as the patrol vehicle rolled into a nearby tree, KING reported.
Officer Shoop, a one-year veteran-of-the-force, died from his wounds at the scene, the BPD said in a press release on July 14.
Officer Kumcur was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was treated and released, according to The Daily Herald.
Police said they located Washington hiding on the roof of a building in the 10000-block of Main Street near the scene of the attack at approximately 3:40 a.m. on July 14.
The suspect attempted to climb off of the roof at one point, but ended up wedging himself between two buildings and getting stuck there, The Daily Herald reported.
Investigators allegedly found a handgun hidden in the suspect’s pants, according to My Everett News.
Washington also confessed to being behind the wheel of the Pontiac, fleeing the scene of the stop, slamming into the pedestrian, and opening fire on police, according to investigators.
According to police, Washington said he shot the officers because he blamed them for forcing him to run over “babies,” apparently referring to the 20-year-old man he’d collided with during the chase, The Seattle Times reported.
He also allegedly told police that he was worried officers would seize his gun, marijuana and vehicle, according to court documents.
“The fact that Mr. Washington did not fire the fatal shot is immaterial to his culpability in this crime,” King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Mary Barbosa wrote in the charging documents, according to The Seattle Times. “But for Mr. Washington’s directed attack on the officers, Officer Shoop would be alive today.”
Retired Los Angeles Police Lieutenant Adam Bercovici, a use-of-force expert who has testified in multiple officer-involved shooting cases, said that Washington is “100 percent culpable” for Officer Shoop’s death.
He said the officers “were perfectly justified” in using deadly force against their attacker.
“We do teach officers to engage from inside a vehicle as a last resort,” the retired lieutenant told The Seattle Times.
Accidental shootings during chaotic exchanges of gunfire are not uncommon, he added.
“Sadly, this happens,” Bercovici said. “Friendly fire is more common than you think.”
Bothell City Manager Jennifer Phillips said the gun battle lasted just two seconds, The Seattle Times reported.
“Let us be clear. We believe the actions of the suspect led to this tragic event,” Phillips said.
She said that the fatal shooting was the culmination of a “chaotic chain of events.”
Washington was booked into the King County Jail and has since been charged with vehicular assault, attempted first-degree murder, and aggravated first-degree murder, The Seattle Times reported.
His criminal history dates back to 1997, and includes offenses of making terroristic threats, domestic violence, and assault.
He was convicted of assaulting an officer in Kansas in 2017, The Seattle Times reported.
The BPD announced Officer Shoop’s murder “with a very heavy heart” on the afternoon of July 14.
“Jonathan was a dedicated officer who served the City of Bothell with professionalism and compassion,” the department said. “Jonathan was well liked amongst his peers and throughout the community. Officer Jonathan Shoop will be dearly missed.”
Officer Shoop served in the U.S. Coast Guard prior to joining BPD on June 3, 2019.
He also spent time working with Washington State Ferries and as a team manager at Amazon, his brother, Evan Shoop, told The Seattle Times.
“He wore a few hats, but he always wanted to be a police officer,” Evan Shoop explained. “He wanted to do the service thing while he had a chance. He was always drawn to it.”
He said his brother was a “local kid through and through,” having lived his entire life in the Seattle area.
“He was always available for people, and just always wanted to do the right thing,” Evan Shoop told The Seattle Times. “It’s just so tough. We’re just missing our baby brother.”
Officer Shoop leaves behind his fiancé, as well as his mother and two brothers, according to his department.