Details emerge in fatal police shooting of Bothell man

BOTHELL — A Bothell man reportedly was angry and walking toward a sheriff’s deputy with a wooden cane raised over his head when the deputy tripped, fell and fired a fatal shot, according to a search warrant filed Tuesday.

Brandon R. Brown, 27, died Sunday from a gunshot wound to his chest.

The shot was fired when Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies Christopher Simpson and Chris Leyda were at a home in the 2000 block of 187th Place SE. Brown’s family members reported that he was angry and had just threatened to hit his sister with a cane, perhaps thinking she was a police officer, the search warrant said.

When deputies went inside the house, Brown reportedly was combative. He refused commands to come out and yelled threats, the search warrant said.

Both deputies wound up attempting to subdue Brown with shots from their Tasers. The electric shocks reportedly had no effect.

Instead, Brown went toward his bedroom and returned with a cane raised over his head, the search warrant said.

Simpson ordered Brown to drop the cane and began to back away down a hallway. That’s when the deputy tripped over some clothing or a laundry basket, or a cat litter box; it wasn’t clear, the search warrant said.

Leyda told a sheriff’s detective investigating the shooting that Brown “continued toward Deputy Simpson and stood over him with the cane raised,” the search warrant said.

Simpson shot and Brown fell, detectives were told.

Detectives believe there would have been probable cause to arrest Brown on Sunday for felony assault.

Brown has for years been diagnosed as living with schizophrenia and has been hospitalized for homicidal and suicidal thoughts, according to court papers. His family had previously sought court protection after he reportedly threatened to harm them with knives.

He also has a history of confrontations with police, including some that required response by the sheriff’s office SWAT team, the search warrant said.

The killing is under investigation by a team of major-case detectives from throughout the county. The Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART) is responsible for investigating all officer-involved shootings here. Once its investigation is complete, a prosecutor will decide whether the deputy acted lawfully.

Simpson was placed on administrative leave, following standard procedure for police shootings. The deputy, 44, has worked with the sheriff’s office for more than two decades.

Scott North: 425-339-3431, north@heraldnet.com

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