Inquest ruling delayed

EVERETT — The family of a fugitive shot to death in a June 24 police raid in Monroe again pressed for an official review of the shooting after a Snohomish County Superior Court judge delayed a ruling about which county’s medical examiner has jurisdiction.

Harold McCord Jr. was fatally injured in the raid at a Monroe apartment and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he died. Judge Anita Farris ruled Thursday that King County must be part of the case before she determines who can hold an inquest into McCord’s death.

Inquests are court-supervised inquiries that ask jurors to determine the circumstances surrounding a death. McCord’s family is seeking one to get answers about the fatal raid, they said.

"Harold wasn’t perfect and he made a mistake. (But) what happened to him shouldn’t happen to nobody. Nobody deserves that punishment and deserves to die like he did," said McCord’s older sister, Kenuetta McCord, who urged prosecutors to file charges against the officers involved in the shooting.

McCord "wanted to give himself up, and that’s what he was trying to do. They didn’t give him a chance," his sister said.

Unlike King County, where inquests are almost automatic after officer-involved shooting deaths, Snohomish County leaves it up to the medical examiner to decide whether an inquest will be held.

Snohomish County Medical Examiner Dr. Norman Thiersch said he can’t call an inquest because McCord died in King County and he doesn’t have jurisdiction there. King County’s charter only allows for an inquest if someone is killed by an officer based in that county.

Even if Snohomish County holds an inquest, it’s still up to the prosecutor to decide if any criminal charges are filed. Snohomish County prosecutors are still reviewing the findings of an investigation into the shooting to determine whether McCord’s death was a lawful but unfortunate act, or a crime.

Mark Roe, the county’s chief criminal deputy prosecutor, previously has said that, in keeping with the law, his decision will be influenced heavily by what was going on in the minds of police at the time they were getting ready to apprehend McCord.

All of the officers who shot McCord have provided statements to detectives saying they believed McCord, 36, was a threat and that a dark-colored, pistol-shaped object in his hand was a real firearm, according to records released earlier this month.

McCord, who faced life in prison under the state’s three-strikes law, escaped from the Pierce County Courthouse the day before the police raid by flashing a fake gun.

McCord’s family criticized the raid Thursday, claiming that police botched the search warrant, did not give McCord the opportunity to surrender and implied that officers aren’t telling the truth about what occurred. They also disputed reports that McCord repeatedly threatened officers.

A tape recording of police radio traffic during the incident where "Gonna shoot him! …. Gonna shoot him!" can be heard wasn’t McCord, claimed Bradley Marshall, a lawyer for the family.

He alleged that the voice was Monroe Sgt. Eduardo Jany, who was shot in the arm by a fellow officer during the raid.

Jany, who organized and led the raid by members of the department’s Special Emergency Response Team, said he shot at McCord through the bathroom door believing he was protecting himself and other officers.

Monroe police declined to comment on the investigation Thursday.

Reporter Katherine Schiffner: 425-339-3436 or

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