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Investigators Provide First Update in Fatal Auburn Police Shooting


The below is the Weekly Press Release for the Auburn Police Department fatal shooting of Nicholas Ellingson on December 17, 2020. This release is required by WAC 139-12 even if there is no new information to provide. This release has not been edited from its original form.

This is the release for December 23, 2020:

valley independent investigation team, viit, viit logo, press release viit, investigation update, vit, valley investigation teamThe Valley Independent Investigative Team (VIIT) is serving as the independent investigative team for this incident. VIIT is a multi-agency team made up of investigators from seven south King County Police Departments (Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Port of Seattle, and Tukwila). With Auburn PD as the involved agency, their staff have been excluded from this VIIT investigation.


On 17 Dec 2020 Auburn Police Department personnel responded a 911 call in the 300 block of T St. SE. Upon arriving on-scene, Auburn PD personnel contacted an adult female associated with a vehicle in the area of the call. While in contact with the adult female, a male also associated with the vehicle and known to have an active arrest warrants returned to scene. As officers attempted to detain the male he tried to flee on foot. Auburn PD personnel followed the subject in a brief foot pursuit during which the subject displayed what appeared to be a firearm. During the foot pursuit, an Auburn officer fired his duty weapon striking the subject. Auburn PD personnel and Valley Regional Fire Authority personnel rendered emergency medical aid, but the subject died on scene.

The involved officer has 5 years of experience with the Auburn Police Dept and was uninjured during the incident. Following standard protocol, the involved officer was placed on administrative leave.

The deceased subject was identified as Nicholas Ellingson, a 37-year-old resident of Seattle. Following the incident, members of VIIT established contact with Ellingson’s family and will keep them informed of the progress of the investigation.

Public notifications will be released weekly until the conclusion of the investigation. Media Inquiries regarding the Independent Investigation may be forwarded to Commander Todd Rossi of the Tukwila Police Department at (206) 391-8236.


As per Chapter 139-12 WAC, please note that information regarding any officer involved shooting cannot be released by an independent investigation team without first notifying the non-law enforcement community representative assigned to the investigation and the family liaison of the involved subject. VIIT will endeavor to incorporate questions received from the media into subsequent press releases.
{A list of the VIIT investigators and agencies for this incident is available upon request.}

PDF:  Valley Independent Investigation Team Weekly Update for December 23, 2020
Valley Independent Investigative Team
Auburn – Des Moines – Federal Way – Kent – Port of Seattle – Renton – Tukwila

The Auburn Examiner has not yet independently verified the above information. 

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  1. RobertB RobertB December 24, 2020

    I can’t predict what the outcome of the investigation will be, but my first thought is that you should not run from the police, and then pull something from your clothing that an officer might consider to be a weapon. Especially if you have arrest warrants out there. I will be following this investigation with some interest. Not all shootings by cops are BAD shootings. Sometimes they are called for, or in the public interest. It’s always a tragedy when this happens, but it DOES happen.

    • Kasey crich-ellingson Kasey crich-ellingson April 4, 2021

      I wonder are you still following this…? I am the un named female associated with this case and only witness also wife of nicolas. And i would have to agree I am sure there are some shootings that are justified by cops but I don’t believe this is one of them and trust me since the moment it happened I have tried over and over again to justify why my husband was murdered in front of me. And I can’t. There is never justification for shooting an unarmed man. In my head never… He was not only unarmed but being tazed. I wish someone, any one, especially the cop that did this could look me in the eye and give me some sort of justification as to why this happened so I could maybe start sleeping at night again. And then explain to me how to explain to mine and nicks 14 year old son how it is that the good guys murdered his father…. He wasn’t a bad guy and good guys kill bad guys. Nicks issues with the law were DUI’s and his warrent was from driving on a suspended liscence… If that deserves a firing squad then I’m scared for everyone.

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