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Auburn Man Fatally Shot by King County Sheriff’s Deputy

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A King County Sheriff’s Deputy shot and killed a 32-year-old Auburn man just after 3:00 pm Saturday afternoon.

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KCSO Sergeant Ryan Abbott | for the Auburn Examiner

According to KCSO PIO Sgt. Ryan Abbott, the involved Deputy was at the Brown Bear car wash when he was waved down by an individual on foot who said someone was shooting a gun in the backyard of a nearby house.

The Deputy drove around the block to the nearby house in the 500 Block of 8th St SE. After stopping in front of the home he “contacted a female out in front.  A short time later a male also came out of the house.  An altercation occurred between the male and the deputy, and the male was shot.”

Life-saving measures were provided by the deputy until Medics arrived. The man died on the scene.

The Auburn Examiner spoke with the man’s mother, Fay Showalter, at the scene. She is heartbroken over the loss of one of her three children, Josh. “I don’t understand why they had to shoot him four times. I don’t even know if he got his hands out of his pockets. He had a clip – because his pocket looked heavy? That didn’t give them a right to where they shot him.”

Showalter said Josh was a talented artist and loving father to his two daughters. She shared he had struggled with alcohol but had been working with local counselors to get better. Recently, however, Josh had hit a rough patch.

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Courtesy, Fay Showalter

“I told them the other day I wanted him committed, otherwise he’s going to end up dead,” said Showalter. “He’s been drinking so much. He might have a collapsed lung because he’s been in a car wreck. They got rear-ended really bad and the hospital was worried about as lung and his heart.”

Showalter shared Josh was arrested earlier this week when she called police for an incident involving his girlfriend throwing a pumpkin at her.

From the September 14, 2020, Auburn Police Blotter: “Mon Sep 14, 10:11 AM PDT 2020 A fight between family members occurred in the 500 block of 8th St SE.”

The police report for Monday’s call states Josh was arrested in relation to striking an adult family member*. The report states they said “countless times [they] did not want Joshua arrested. [They] said Joshua was a good kid and he didn’t need to go to jail over the incident.” Though they did not want Josh arrested, officers did so due to Washington State Domestic Violence laws.

According to the report, “Joshua also said he had been drinking vodka since around [3:00 AM]. He admitted to having an alcohol problem, expressed his desire for assistance with alcohol, and said he wanted to get his life together.”

Showalter shared Josh was planning to go to the hospital on Monday. “I said Monday, why Monday – why not now? I said somethings going to happen. So, the girls came over to see what was going on.”

Josh’s two sisters were at the home Saturday afternoon. They both witnessed the incident.

Abbott confirmed the deputy did not have on a body-worn camera. According to Showalter, the home has a security system that is equipped with cameras.

Valley Investigation Team

In accordance with I-940, the Valley Investigation Team (VIT) will oversee the investigation into this shooting.  Formed in 2012, the VIT is comprised of seven law enforcement agencies: Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Tukwila, and Port of Seattle Police Department.

Commander Kurt Schwan of the Federal Way Police Department previously explained to the Auburn Examiner that “VIT is utilized for officer-involved shootings investigations, in-custody death investigations, and at the discretion of the Chiefs of Police. The VIT agencies are on a set rotational list for assignment. [If] the involved agency is next on the rotation; they would then be skipped, and a different agency would be assigned as the lead. Once the incident [has ended, the scene] is static, and VIT has been called, the involved agency is not involved in any aspect of the investigation of the incident.”

Abbott confirmed the deputy was not injured. He has been placed on administrative leave, as is standard in officer-involved shooting investigations. Future updates about this incident will come from the VIT team.

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Marker is the location of shooting scene on 8 St SE in Auburn, WA

*As a domestic violence related incident, we will not be stating the name of the individual involved without their consent.

Editor’s note


At this time only basic information has been released about this incident.  As a news outlet, we will do our part to ensure transparency in this matter is maintained.  We ask for the sake of our community, and all those involved, that speculation is withheld.  In complex matters such as these, when a life has been lost, the game of telephone can be not only divisive but also emotionally detrimental to all parties involved.

Updated to add Editor’s note.

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