Seattle, WA – Seattle Police Department (SPD) Officer Alexandra “Lexi” Brenneman Harris was killed on Sunday night after she stopped to help the victims of a car crash she encountered on her way home from work.
Officer Harris, 38, came upon the 10-vehicle crash at approximately 1:20 a.m. on June 13 while traveling along Interstate 5 southbound near Forest Street, KCPQ reported.
She got out of her vehicle and was helping those involved in the crash when another motorist slammed into her.
The driver who hit Officer Harris remained at the scene, but someone else stole the injured officer’s personal vehicle and sped off, according to the Washington State Police (WSP).
Investigators recovered the abandoned stolen car on Sunday morning, The Seattle Times reported.
The suspect is still on the loose, according to MyNorthwest.
“It really speaks to where we are as a society, where we have such callousness when it comes to loss of life,” WSP Captain Ron Mead told reporters during a press conference in Bellevue later in the day.
The WSP is handling the ongoing investigation into Officer Harris’ death, The Seattle Times reported.
Her father, Laird Harris, said he was not at all surprised to learn that his daughter died while trying to help others.
“It was typical Lexi,” he told The Seattle Times. “It was in her nature. I’m sure her major thought was getting people out of danger.”
Laird said Officer Harris always went out of her way to treat other people with compassion.
“She would stop in the streets and talk to the homeless people,” he told the paper.
SPD Assistant Chief Tom Mahaffey said Officer Harris’ death has been a “devastating” blow for the SPD, The Seattle Times reported.
“It’s very difficult for all of us,” the chief told MyNorthwest. “To lose anyone in this manner would be devastating. But when it’s somebody committed to public safety, trying to do the right thing when they could have just kept going…”
Officer Harris was involved in the SPD’s Wellness Unit, which focuses on officers’ mental and physical health, and also started her own podcast to focus on “improving the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” Laird told The Seattle Times.
She served the SPD for five years, according to the paper.
“Our heart goes out today to the family & friends of the officer tragically killed while trying to help others following a collision,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted on Sunday. “The officer’s service to our community went beyond their shift & we can never repay this officer for putting the life of others ahead of their own.”
Our heart goes out today to the family & friends of the officer tragically killed while trying to help others following a collision. The officer’s service to our community went beyond their shift & we can never repay this officer for putting the life of others ahead of their own. https://t.co/P7jOyhrApJ
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) June 13, 2021
— DeborahHorne (@DeborahKIRO7) June 14, 2021
We regret to inform you that the Seattle Police Department has identified Officer Alexandra (Lexi) Brenneman Harris as the off-duty officer who died on 06/13/2021.
She finished her shift and came upon an accident. When she stopped to render assistance, she was struck and killed. pic.twitter.com/tps6MNRGfX
— WAStateC.O.P.S. (@WAStateCOPS) June 14, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Seattle Police Department Officer Alexandra “Lexi” Brenneman Harris, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.